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ANAHEIM | Community News Focus

Community Policing Program Credited as Crime Dips

September 09, 1997|DEBRA CANO

Crime in the city is on the decline, due in part to the Police Department's community policing and problem-solving efforts, officials say.

According to crime data comparing the first six months of 1997 with the same period a year earlier, crimes such as assault and robbery dropped 23%, while narcotic offenses, larceny and incidents of public drunkenness were down 8%.

There were eight homicides during the first half of this year, compared with four during the same period last year. But Police Chief Randall Gaston said the trend over several years shows a sharp decline in homicides, especially gang-related cases.

Gaston credits the community policing program, in which officers are more visible in high-problem neighborhoods, as a factor in decreasing crime. "They're taking the time to know the priorities of the community and getting to know the people," he said. "Those areas have improved not only in crime, but quality of life."

In the last 3 1/2 years, the city also has added 41 officers to the force.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Crime Change

Crime in Anaheim declined in the first six months of the year, compared with the same period in 1996. Serious crime dropped 23%, while a group of other offenses fell 8%.

Serious crimes*

1996: 7,880

1997: 6,092

Other crimes**

1996: 88,697

1997: 81,919

* Homicide, assault, rape, robbery, burglary, arson, larceny and auto theft

** Narcotic offenses, public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, forgery

Source: Anaheim Police Department; Researched by DEBRA CANO / For The Times

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