Crime rate continues to soar, Bakersfield cops warn lawmakers

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Crime in Bakersfield is getting worse every year.

Bakersfield Police Chief Greg Terry presented a public safety update to Bakersfield City Council on Wednesday, detailing data that shows high crime numbers from 2020 to 2021.

In 2021, the Bakersfield Police Department recorded 18,796 violent and property crimes. This number was up from 17,617 in 2020.

“Homicides in our community have continued to increase over the past year,” Terry said. “In 2020, we had 45 homicides, which was an unfortunate record for our city. In 2021, this number has increased to 60.

Terry said Bakersfield also saw a 30% increase in sexual assaults and a 9% increase in robberies.

While crime as a whole is on the rise, Bakersfield hasn’t faced worse traffic problems than before, with calls for reckless driving last year about 100 fewer than in 2020.

Overall, calls for service have increased significantly over the past year.

In 2020, the police department received 702,849 phone calls, 266,196,911 calls and 240,161 distributed incidents.

Last year, those numbers grew to 776,847 phone calls, 292,183 911 calls and 249,359 distributed incidents.

With an increase in call volume, response times have also increased over the past year, increasing by more than 30 seconds in some parts of the city.

“At the end of the day, we know that what is most important to our community is that when they call us, we come, then we come quickly and that we are qualified, that we have the skills and the resources. available to deal with whatever issue they have at the time, whatever the issue is,” Terry said.

“And we’re not able to do that to our satisfaction and certainly that of our community on a consistent basis.”

In an average week, the Bakersfield Police Department faced the following situations in 2021:

  • 14,939 calls handled by the communication center
  • 5,619,911 calls
  • 4,793 calls dispatched
  • 285 red light violations
  • 199 traffic offenses
  • 109 vehicle collisions and 38 resulting in injuries
  • 262 arrests in total
  • 22 spotter activations
  • 102 car thefts
  • 90 automatic recoveries
  • 4 assaults with a firearm
  • 8 arrests for weapons violation
  • 50 reports of residential and commercial burglaries

“At the end of the day, we know our community is hurting and hurting, our businesses are hurting in a variety of ways, and we’re really trying to find new solutions and new partnerships that can help us solve many of these issues that face our community,” said Terry.

Terry also talked about the homelessness co-response team that deployed in January.

The team – which consists of a mental health worker and clinician – responds to field service calls regarding homelessness, partners with existing homeless outreach teams and engages with community businesses that have faced challenges due to chronic homelessness.

“Their job and their goal is really to try to find the root cause of these problems that are associated with a particular individual, or what might attract a large number of individuals to a particular area, and try to understand if there is a solution,” Terry said. “Something we can do for the environment or bring other partners to the table to be able to reduce service calls to a particular location, but also to reduce service calls related to a particular individual.”

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