SALINAS, Calif. (KION) The Salinas Police Department has released new crime and staffing data, and it appears to show a reduction in the number of many crimes and a shift in officer demographics.
In 2015, there were a total of 40 homicides reported, but so far in 2020, there have been four, a 90% decrease. Since 2015, the department reports that the number of homicides has gone down by at least 10% every year. A total of 8 were reported in 2019.
So far this year, the department said there have been 40 attempted homicides, compared to 44 total last year. Of the attempted homicides this year, 28 involved guns, 10 involved knifes or other cutting instruments, one involved another dangerous instrument and one involved hands and/or feet.
Other crimes have decreased as well, according to the report released by the police department. At it's peak within the last 5 years, there were 100 rapes reported in 2018, but so far this year, there have been 31. Last year, 66 were reported. Robberies have reportedly decreased from 369 total in 2015 to 133 total so far in 2020.
Aggravated assaults have seen a large decrease, according to the report. In 2015, there were 613 reported, and that number has gone down every year since. Last year, there were 467, and so far this year, there have been 133. Burglaries and larceny thefts appear to have decreased as well. At its peak in the last 5 years, there were 964 burglaries reported in 2017. Last year, there were 742, and so far this year, there have been 483. Larceny thefts were at their highest in the last 5 years in 2017 at 2,589. Last year, 1,709 were reported, and 1,082 have been reported so far this year.
Auto thefts have gone down from 1,932 in 2015 to 1,081 last year and 484 so far this year.
In 2018, there were 31 reported arsons in Salinas. So far this year, there have been 21. If the second half of the year continues in the same manner as the first half, it appears that arsons could potentially surpass their 5-year high. At its lowest in the past 5 years, there were 11 reported in 2016.
When it comes to staffing, the department said it has seen a 15.3% increase in the number of sworn officers in the past five years, and during that time, it has also seen a 59.5% increase in the number of Hispanic officers. There are 158 sworn officers in the department as of July 28, and 75 of them are Hispanic, 68 are white, 12 are another race and 3 are African-American. Nearly 40% of officers speak Spanish. The department reports that 52% of civilian employees speak Spanish, a 21% increase since 2016.
There has also been an increase in the number of female officers over the past five years. Since January 2016, the department has seen a 142.8% increase in the number of female officers. 5% of officers were female in 2016, and now 11% of officers are female.