HomeCity NewsPart 1 Crimes Drop to 2014 Level, Plans to Increase SMPD...

Part 1 Crimes Drop to 2014 Level, Plans to Increase SMPD Staffing

San Marino experienced a 18.28 percent overall decrease in Part 1 crimes from 2017 to 2018, according to a report presented by Chief of Police John Incontro of the San Marino Police Department (SMPD) to the City Council on Friday, January 25 at the Crowell Public Library. Part 1 crimes include murder and non-negligent homicide, rape (legacy and revised), robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny-theft and arson, according to Uniform Crime Reports.

“It’s a teamwork effort with the community and the officers, and they all deserve the credit,” Incontro told the council.

Burglaries and larceny are down across all counts including residential burglaries (32.74 percent decrease), commercial burglaries (33.33 percent decrease), attempted burglaries (37.50 percent decrease) and larceny (7.69 percent decrease). For residential burglaries, SMPD made 10 arrests of those responsible for 11 of the burglaries. There were two auto thefts reported in 2018, the fewest in five years.

For crimes that experienced increases, there were three reported arsons in 2018, where none occurred since 2014. There was also one reported rape in 2018, with none reported since 2015. Aggravated assaults totaled 16 in 2018, up from 15 in 2017.

Total Part 1 crimes in 2018 amounted to 228, a marked decrease from 2017’s 279 tally. Incontro noted that Part 1 crimes in 2018 dipped below 2014’s number of 231.

“Our numbers have reached 2014 level, which I’m very happy about,” Incontro said. “Hopefully we will continue a downward trend.”

Incontro shared that the SMPD will be focusing on plans to reduce burglaries and larcenies this year. With 81 residential burglaries in 2018, 44 of the homes either did not have or did not have their security systems on at the time of the burglary. Out of that 44, 37 of the homes had security systems. Of all the alarm systems that residents in San Marino use, 65 percent are actively monitored by the system company with the rest being self-monitored through web-based systems. Incontro mentioned that the downside of web-based systems comes into play when residents are caught up in meetings or places where the web isn’t accessible, which hinders police response ability.

“Without someone actively monitoring those systems, we can’t respond in a timely manner,” said Incontro.

With larcenies, a majority of the cases were thefts from unlocked vehicles.

“That’s something that a simple part of taking out your stuff and locking your doors would have reduced our crime rate even more and it contributes to an overall safe neighborhood and a safe city,” Incontro shared.

As for staffing, SMPD currently has five vacancies with one cadet currently in academy and due to graduate in June. The department is also currently in talks with other recruitment prospects.

Council Member Susan Jakubowski noted that with public safety as an important issue, the staffing issue should be a focus moving forward.

“In view of a significant number of vacancies, it’s something that I’d like us to perhaps learn more about as we get closer to the new budget,” said Jakubowski.

Vice Mayor Gretchen Shepherd Romey commended the department, saying both she and the community was appreciative of their efforts.

“I believe our support of the police and fire departments should be very strong this year and I’m hoping that they understand that and it will be successful for everybody,” said Shepherd Romey.

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