The City of Duarte Public Safety Department and the members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department that serve our community are extremely concerned about the two recent murders in our City. Both events are neither gang rivalry events nor were the victim’s gang members. Nonetheless, they are extremely troubling and both cases are being given top priority by the Sheriff’s Department investigative teams. Together, with the Sheriffs, the City is working diligently to get back on track.
Since the senseless murder of Kindra Lamar in mid-February, the Sheriff’s Department has deployed a supplemental special assignment car as well as extra OSS investigators in the City. Additionally, Duarte Council, staff and members of the Monrovia, Arcadia, Duarte Town Council will be meeting with both Supervisor Kathryn Barger and LA County Sheriff Jim McDonnell to discuss and devise strategies to effectively address the rise in shootings and murder in Duarte and the adjoining County area.
Just in 2016, Duarte was named as one of California’s top 100 safest communities and all in all, Duarte crime statistics still reflect a positive trend. Violence against persons, crimes against property, gang related part 1 crimes are still a fraction of what they were in 2010. The City achieved this significant reversal thanks in part to a series of Cal Grip grants dating back to 2010, totaling more than $1.5 million dollars that created a series of prevention and intervention programs for youth and young adults.
Statewide though and particularly in Los Angeles County, violent crime continues to rise. For the third straight year in the County, violent crime rose over 38% from the previous two years. Many government officials in addition to our Public Safety Department point to the devastating effects of Prop 47, which took effect in November of 2014. In a nutshell, Prop 47 downgraded numerous drug and property felonies to misdemeanors. The result, criminals spend far less time in jail providing more opportunity to commit more crimes on the outside. Additionally, the change in law is also being attributed to the dramatic 25% drop in arrests both County and statewide.
Along with Prop 47, County and local Public Safety officials continue to struggle with AB109 signed into law by Governor Brown in 2011 and Prop 57. The combined effect of both, approximately 75,000 prisoners have been or are in the process of being released to the streets and local County jails are ill equipped to handle the continuing influx of long term, violent felons.
To counteract this ongoing trend, the City is actively pursuing a grant to deal with this trend. The Prop 47 grant will be used to fund a one-stop shop for recently released inmates/prisoners to break recidivistic cycles. For more information about Duarte crime statistics or crime in general, please contact Duarte Public Safety at 626 357-7938.