Crime Decreases Dramatically in some Orange County Cities–Stanton West Anaheim Area
Stanton reports a drop in crime from 2012
Crime from 2007-2013 dropped 40 percent in Stanton
by Loreen Berlin. Loreen Berlin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Orange County News
The city of Stanton announced crime dropped another 40 percent in 2012; violent crimes, which are assaults, murder and rape, dropped 36 percent last year and crime overall from 2007 to 2013 continued down as well, totaling 40 percent according to Stanton Chief of Police Services Lt. Jeff Pssalaqua and Stanton Mayor David Shawver.
"The drop in crime-rate highlights the 25-year anniversary of Stanton and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department," Stanton City Manager Jim Box said.
To what does Passalaqua attribute the drop in crime?
"Good policing; pro-active policing and putting the right people in jail," he said. "It's a small percentage of people who commit the large percentage of crimes who are in jail." Passalaqua said that the people who are constantly in and out of jail are the small percentage of the people committing crimes.
"We concentrate on those with the cooperation of the district attorney and for the most part, these people committing the crimes, move out of the area because they don't want to keep being in jail and running into the Orange County Sheriff's Department," Passalaqua said.
Shawver said getting a gang injunction has also helped in reducing crime and Box said that the GRIP program the city has had for five years has also helped to reduce crime. "With the kids in the 6th grade, we should see the results in 10 years; it's an investment in the future," Box said.
"Many of the gangs in the area have been here since the 1950s, so with the GRIP program, we are mentoring the kids and showing them that they don't have be in gangs and don't have to have their friends killed," Box said.
When young people are involved in gangs, they also may exhibit bad grades and so with the GRIP program, Box said the student's API scores have increased. "Walter's School; it's the best," Box said.
Pssalaqua said the police do regular truancy and curfew sweeps and are holding the parents accountable for their children. Box sited that out-of-school time and after school activities that are supervised at the Stanton Boys and Girls Club, the Cottonwood Church and Anaheim Angels are helping at-risk kids. "The Anaheim Angels held a game for 2,000 kids across the county," Box said.
The Gang Reduction Intervention program is a drop-in event Monday through Thursday 3 to 5 p.m. with afternoons full of fun for youth between 6-12 years of age; activities change each week, with a daily theme. It's not a day-care; children can leave when they want, without permission.
For additional information on the GRIP program, call 714-379-0129.
Stanton has a population of more than 39,000 residents who enjoy a small-town feeling within a 3.1 square mile community. Stanton credits the partnership with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department for 25 years, for the steady decline in crime since 1988.
“Public safety is our first priority,” Box said. “Our rapidly decreasing crime rate shows that our partnership with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department is an exceptional way to achieve this goal.”
In addition to the successful reduction in violent crimes during the past six years, non-violent incidents such as drug arrests, auto theft and larceny are down approximately 20 percent during the same period.
Shawver said the city is doing more with less and that the impressive crime reduction statistics come in the wake of the City’s well-documented economic difficulties – some of the most difficult in the City’s nearly 57-year history. "During this time, the Stanton Police Services Department adopted a mantra of doing more with less without having to sacrifice customer service," Box said. "As an example, the Department recently reduced its staff to 20 deputies and eight professional service employees, while response times remain among the best in Orange County and the Department has maintained its commitment to responding to every call that comes into its dispatch.
“No call is too small for us to respond in person,” Passalaqua said. “Residents need to trust their public safety officers; however, that only happens by being responsive to their needs. We’re incredibly customer-service focused and I’m proud of our entire staff for working hard to maintain this commitment.”
"The Volunteers in Policing program is also making a difference; efficiencies are also created through innovative ideas like the Department’s VIP program, Shawver said. "This novel approach to community outreach invites local residents to serve their city by performing non-sworn safety duties within the department and it saves tens of thousands of dollars each year and offers every resident who walks in the door a liaison who can help them navigate the system."
The Orange County Sheriff's department also currently serves as the hub for unincorporated areas within Orange County, including Anaheim unincorporated, Midway City and Rossmoor and as a result, six more patrol cars and 18 more deputies are periodically available at no cost to the city.
Shawver said that while the dramatic drop in crime rates is outstanding, both city and department leaders know more work needs to be done to keep Stanton among the safest cities in the region. "This decrease will help our economy and our overall quality of life," Shawver said. "The recent success is tremendous and I’m proud of our staff but we will remain steadfastly focused on cutting crime even further and the forward-planning strategies are there to achieve a further reduced crime rate and a better quality of life."
Shawver said that the city’s next job is to once again eliminate “human trafficking” on Beach Boulevard. "It will take our deputies and community working together to stop this criminal activity."
For Stanton city information, visit www.ci.stanton.ca.us or call 714-379- 9222.
Residents may also join the Stanton community on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Cityof Stanton and follow the city on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CityofStanton.
Stanton events and videos can be found on Stanton’s YouTube channel – www.youtube.com/CityofStanton.