HomeCity NewsLCF Crime Stats Hit 5-Year Low

LCF Crime Stats Hit 5-Year Low

First published in the Jan. 20 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

While some other municipalities are addressing upticks in crime since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the La Cañada Flintridge City Council is telling its law enforcement to keep it up.
The Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station presented its crime statistics for the month of December and for the year during a virtual City Council meeting Tuesday and the total number was the lowest in five years.
There were 258 Part I offenses — serious crimes that include homicide, rape, robbery, burglary, theft, arson and aggravated assault — in 2021, an 18% decrease from the previous year and 70 fewer incidents than in 2019.
Though larceny and theft more than doubled in December with 26 reported cases, the total number for the year remained relatively low compared to 2019 and 2018 when there were 188 and 224 incidents, respectively.
One offense that did spike in 2021 was aggravated assault with 10 reported cases in, the most in the past five years. There were only seven in 2020 and the previous high was nine in 2017.
The CV Sheriff’s Department reported that there were no cases of homicides or arson in 2021.
Of the Part II offenses, vandalism was significantly down last year with only 17 reported cases occurring in 2021, the lowest total in the past five years. From 2016-2020, the city averaged 32 acts of vandalism a year. However, there was a 25% uptick in identity theft and fraud with 85 incidents and a slight bump in narcotics cases (13) in the past 12 months.
City staff and council members credit the lower crime numbers to the Flock license plate reader cameras and reactiveness of the local sheriff’s station.
“[It’s] a combination I think of hard work, the Flock [camera] systems have certainly helped us, the responsiveness of the Sheriff’s Department when we have peaks in burglaries and [other crimes] to get out the troops — and I just want to say thank you for a job well done,” Mayor Terry Walker told Lt. Robert Hahnlein, who is the CV Sheriff’s Station acting captain. “You certainly can’t complain when you look at the statistics, which are getting better every single year for the past six years and maybe before that.”
There are currently 39 cameras installed in LCF and more are on the way. Assistant City Manager Carl Alameda told the council that installation of 11 additional cameras should be completed in February to give the city a total of 50 Flock cameras.
“Their installation I think does tie pretty well with the numbers and the decrease in incidents that we’re having,” Walker said. “Good; glad to hear [the cameras are] doing their job.”

City Council Meetings to Remain Virtual

Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, the LCF City Council voted in favor of adopting a resolution that will have municipal meetings conducted remotely for the next 30 days.
The panel, which met via Zoom on Tuesday, voted 4-1 in favor of having meetings virtually for another month, with the lone dissenting voice coming from Mayor Pro Tem Keith Eich.
Eich is in favor of the city conducting hybrid meetings that would allow people to participate in person, over the phone and virtually. He noted that he joined the Zoom meeting from the City Council chambers in City Hall because the internet connection at his home was down, and that technical issues could prevent some members of the public interested in watching the meeting from participating.
“I think that’s the future of where we need to go. I’ve been pretty clear about that,” said a frustrated Eich. “Moving to Zoom is wonderful. I love that we can have additional folks from the public attend and comment wherever they are. I think that’s great, but when we’re asking our kids and our businesses to be open and to go to school, it’s a shame that we don’t have hybrid [meetings] to let people make the choice for themselves.”
City Manager Mark Alexander informed Eich that staff is capable of conducting hybrid meetings for the City Council but not for the commissions.
“We just simply don’t have the staff that has the knowledge and the expertise to be able to do that and not put the entire burden on one individual,” Alexander said. “It’s really a staffing issue.”


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