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Hawaiian Gardens Crime Rate Posts Dramatic Drop

By Brian Hews

One-year and Five-year Part 1 crime statistics show increased safety, dispel perception

HAWAIIAN GARDENS, CA —The City of Hawaiian Gardens today announced serious crime has dropped approximately 50% in the past five years. The dramatic drop in Part 1 total crimes comes at a time when many people believed the challenging economy would cause an increase in criminal activity.

“Hawaiian Gardens today is one of the safest cities in the local area due in large part to our strong commitment to public safety and the efforts of the City, community members and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department. We want to continue emphasizing that public safety and keeping our neighborhoods safe is our priority,” said Mayor Victor Farfan. “As a lifelong resident, I want to continue working on changing the unfortunate perception that the City is not safe and that it is a bad place to raise a family.”

Over a five-year period, the City reported it experienced 261 Part 1 crimes in 2012, a drastic reduction from the 518 crimes reported in 2008. Part 1 crimes, reported to the FBI, are comprised of eight specific crime types used to make jurisdictional comparisons. They include the violent crime categories of homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault; and the property crime categories of burglary, auto theft, larceny, and arson.

Year over year, the City reported an approximate 9% reduction in crime from 286 crimes in 2011 to 261 crimes in 2012. Among the improvements in 2012, robberies decreased from 30 to 21 incidents. Auto theft decreased from 55 to 51 incidents and larceny thefts decreased from 120 to 99 incidents. Burglaries remained the same at 41 incidents while aggravated assault increased from 37 to 45 incidents.

These five-year and one-year declines in crime are among the best in the local area. Additional improvements reported today included graffiti being down significantly throughout the City, from 1,467 incidents in 2010 to 534 incidents in 2012 due to the joint efforts of the community, city Public Works Department and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.

In recent years, the City of Hawaiian Gardens in conjunction with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, has worked aggressively to improve public safety through a variety of support efforts and engagement programs that promote effective partnerships with the community. They include the Neighborhood Watch Program, annual National Night Out celebration, Community Peace Walk, Red Ribbon Week, Safe Communities Month events, Back to School BBQ, the YAL/BEAR program, Read Along Program, VIDA and numerous recreational programs and activities the City offers to its residents. Additional efforts include activities for youth that expose them to positive uses of their time, a constant and direct line of communication with City officials 24 hours a day that expedites the community’s public safety needs, and the recent construction of a modern and state of the art Public Safety Center that places a premium on public safety in the community.

“I am very proud of what we have been able to accomplish these past years for the City of Hawaiian Gardens, and although we have employed several strategies to reduce crime, building partnerships with the community has been key to our success,” said L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Captain Merrill Ladenheim. “While the effects of AB 109 Prison Realignment are real, we continue to make great strides in being a part of the community and will continue focusing on strengthening public safety and reducing crime.”