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Chief: Number of Serious Crimes Drop

The stats for 2011 show improvements in the rate for serious crimes and injury-causing vehicle accidents.

Serious crimes in San Juan Capistrano dropped 6 percent in 2011, Lt. John Meyer told the City Council this week.

There were 506 so-called Part I crimes, which includes offenses such as murder, rape and arson, logged in 2011. That’s down from 544, said Meyer, who serves as the chief of police services for the city.

In addition, injurious vehicle accidents were down 23 percent in 2011, Meyer said. Meanwhile, San Juan Capistrano deputies have among the faster response times in the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, 3.5 minutes for the highest priority calls.

As the council ruminated over the city budget for the next two years, each department head took a turn Tuesday to present his accomplishments from the recent past and goals for the coming year.

Here are the crime stats for 2011:

  • 12,197 calls for service from the public – that’s an average of 34 a day
  • 4,954 deputy-initiated observations
  • 1,345 arrests, including warrants and cite-and-release arrests
  • 246 cars towed/impounded

The city is projected to spend $7.16 million in 2011-12 for police services, and the proposed budget – which will come before the City Council for approve in June – for 2012-13 is $7.35 million, a 2.68 percent increase.

Part of the increase comes in the form of a new car that the administrative sergeant and crime prevention specialist will share, Meyer said. Transportation and overtime costs are also on the climb.

“We’re not adding or deleting any positions for the next year,” Meyer told the council Tuesday.

The 2013-14 budget for police services is proposed at $7.49 million a 2 percent increase.

Last year, the department shuffled a bit to make room for a . Meyer said the move highlights the city’s emphasis on community policing, which will include more neighborhood and business watches to come in the next year.

SJCfamily June 02, 2012 at 07:04 AM
When I first read that our we had 506 serious crimes such as rape, murder and arson in 2011, I thought it must be a typo; that's outrageous for a small town like ours! Why are overtime costs "on the climb"? And why do we need a Crime prevention Specialist when we already pay nearly $8 million per year for the sheriff's contract? This is insane - what the heck is going on here hat our crime rate is so high?
Joel Peshkin June 02, 2012 at 08:06 AM
According to the link the story points to, the 506 serious crimes include shoplifting and stolen bicycles. Probably not mostly murders.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) June 02, 2012 at 03:05 PM
The City Council decided to move people around to accommodate the crime prevention specialist. Two positions were eliminated, but no personnel were laid off. Click on the link for the crime prevention specialist. Our Dec. 1 murder was well reported in Patch. Do a search on Bobby Ray Rainwater and Robert Eugene Vasquez.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) June 03, 2012 at 12:18 AM
It's a she. Give her a call. I'm sure she'll be glad to hear from you. 949-770-6011
Penny Arévalo (Editor) June 03, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Celina is in the photo above.
Lance June 07, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Building a positive relationship between the Sheriff's Department and Community. Mission Viejo's Community Service Officers have positively helped their city. So glade to see SJC given the same resource.

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