I am truly honored to represent the hard working men and women of the Rialto Police Department.
This past year was a very busy one for us. We completed numerous projects which included upgrading our department range, building a department gym, repainting the main campus buildings, and several technology projects to include park surveillance cameras, computerized property tracker systems (GPS), access to live streaming video at local businesses and schools, and of course the full implementation of our body-worn video camera project.
We also experienced many successes with our PRIDE Platoon Boot Camp Program, Volunteer and Explorer Programs, and the Citizen Academy, along with the implementation of the Community Liaison Officer, the Rialto Re-Entry Support Team, and the Cold Case Investigative Team.
This year some of our major projects will include upgrades to our training facility by adding a use-of-force and driving simulator, increased data technology as it relates to Evidence-Based and Predictive Policing, and upgrades to the main station lobby.
As we enter 2014, we have a lot to be proud of in terms of crime and public safety. While violent crime has risen across the United States for the second year in a row, and property crime is not far behind (many cities are experiencing significant increases in property crimes), Rialto has experienced decreases: despite the issues associated with early prisoner release. Violent crime in Rialto is down 14.93% and property crime is down significantly compared to 2012; with an overall Part One Crime reduction of 20.00%. If we consider reductions in officer staffing compared to previous years (-13.8%), calls for service that increased by 14.88% from previous years, this was no small achievement. Furthermore, officer self-initiated activity (proactive enforcement) increased 11.42%, arrests increased 4.13%, traffic calls increased 7.96%, while emergency response times decreased by almost five seconds.
One additional highlight, which we believe the PRIDE Platoon Boot Camp has contributed, to would be the drop in juvenile crime. A three year analysis since the inception of the program has shown that weapon-related arrests decreased 60%, violent crime arrests decreased 53%, property crime arrests decreased 26%; with overall juvenile arrests down 40%. We will continue to focus on reshaping the Area Command model of Community-Based Policing. This highly successful program is designed to encourage open communication, enhance community confidence, and streamline the delivery of police services.
We will continue to share resources with our neighboring cities to include the success of the Regionalized SWAT team (Inland Valley SWAT), Air Support Program, and Narcotics Enforcement Teams.
We will continue to utilize technology to share public safety information with our citizens including our department website; Facebook, Tip411, Crimemapping.com, digital signage, media outreach, public service announcements, and high speed emergency notification systems such as NIXLE and Code Red. In 2014, we are excited to introduce a virtual Neighborhood Watch system called Nextdoor. Rialto residents will be able to use Nextdoor to share information about neighborhood watch, safety issues, local events, and other related activities.
We will continue to embrace volunteerism and community pride; working to enhance the great programs that we already have in place like National Night Out, Hearts to Share, Fuel for Success, Every 15 Minutes and Golf with a Cop. But most off all, we will continue to foster the great community relationships we have worked so hard to establish over the past several years. We will continue to move forward as an organization, striving to become the premiere law enforcement agency in the Inland Empire region of Southern California. We understand that the fear of crime can be best reduced through the balanced delivery of policing that consists of three components, prevention, intervention and enforcement. We also recognize that maintaining community safety can only be achieved with the support and involvement of our community.
I invite you to check back often as we will continually update our website to offer information and assistance. We also welcome your comments and suggestions.
William A. Farrar