Desert Hot Springs, CA — Police agencies around the valley are looking over new crime statistics released by the FBI.
The FBI’s latest report tracked crime for 2007.
For the Coachella Valley, Indio is number one followed by Palm Springs.
Desert Hot Springs was tops for violent crime for the Inland Empire 2 years ago.
Now they’re third with violent crime dropping 9% between 2006 and 2007.
So far this year police have seen an 18% drop.
Desert Hot Springs police have managed to reduce crime despite having a short-staffed department.
The agency has 25 of 31 officers on staff and none on the county’s narcotic or gang task forces.
Desert Hot Springs have relied the community and other police agencies to help.
“We’re finding opportunities to bring people into the organization and help us attack this issue cause it’s a community challenge not just a police issue,” says Desert Hot Springs Police Chief Pat Williams.
As for property crimes, they are up in the city, especially auto thefts.
The city has the highest unemployment rate in the valley.
Add that with the area’s low income and police say it’s a formula for crimes of opportunity.
“Folks will take advantage of opportunities where others aren’t paying attention to in securing there property,” Williams told KESQ.
Police say the drop in crime won’t last until the agency is fully staffed.
Residents can vote for more police funding in a few years.
Until then officers will continue to work toward their goal of becoming the safest city in the valley.
“We’re not satisfied with where we’re at,” Williams said. “Any reducing is good, but we’re looking for the long term resolution on a lot of these challenges.”