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DOJ reports reveal Desert Hot Springs had the lowest crime reports in the Coachella Valley

According to the Department of Justice data, crime reports are down in Desert Hot Springs between the years 2001 and 2021.

"I honestly feel like you don't really see a lot of crime," says Pattie Cruz, owner of Kali Certified Flowers. Kali-certified flowers have been a family business in desert hot springs for eight years. Cruz has been running the shop for the last three years.

In an address to community members and other dignitaries at the State of the City, the Mayor of Desert Hot Springs shared these graphs to alert the community that Public Safety has gotten better over the years, and they have more plans to create an even safer city as they move into the new year. He says that the city has not been able to escape the image they have had since the 90s.

Do you think you have any work to do with the community so that they also can move out of the 90s image of DHS?
Mayor Matas: Yeah, absolutely. As Mayor, you never stop, you have to always continue to hit things head on is what I call it. When you have an issue out there, don't put your head in the sand, go out there and handle that issue. Try to find solutions to or try to compromise if you need to. But we don't need to compromise as much as we used to as a community. We're showing that we're a leader in this Coachella Valley, and it will continue to do that and be as positive as we can.

What is your office doing to prevent crime from even happening?
Mayor Matas: I think we all want to put money where we can to make sure that the city is a safe city. So we put a lot of money into our youth of our community, a lot of money into our seniors or community programming for whatever we can do in between the youth and our seniors, to make sure that there are activities to make sure that our roads and image look well, to make sure that our police force is supported financially, as many as they can, we're getting ready to start a new two-year budget cycle here the next six months. We want to add more physicians to our police department. So there's a myriad of things that I can say that we did the mayor and city council, we get to take a lot of credit for the hard work of the men and women of our city do behind the scenes.

Mayor, with all this information that you just shared with us, what can the residents of Desert Hot Springs and the Coachella Valley, expect to see when it comes to public safety?
Mayor Matas: I think they're gonna expect to see our public safety continue to strengthen our Police Department's only going to be able to put more men and women on the street to make our cities even safer than it is today. I don't think the image of our city is going to continue like it was 20 years ago, it's going to continue to actually be positive. And the people of Desert Hot Springs are becoming more positive about it. When you live in a neighborhood and have some problems, social media changes the outlook, sometimes of just your whole city. But I believe with what our staff has put together from our public safety side police department to our administrative side at City Hall, we actually are able to hit that on all sides. We can go out to the communities, we can talk to them, we can go out to the Coachella Valley with our taskforce partnerships, and we can talk to them. And then from our city administration, when anybody walks in, they get a one customer service, and they're able to solve their problem as quickly as possible.

"Crime has gone down since I started running the business," says Cruz.

Pattie Cruz has lived in Palm Springs her entire life and says, "there's just as much crime there as there was here. And honestly, I don't have any issues here."

Mayor Matas was born and raised in the valley, and the numbers of the graphs did not shock him when he saw them. "I always knew the numbers were getting better year after year," says Mayor Matas.

The data comes from the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership, the Department of Justice, and the Criminal Justice Statistics Center.

"Desert Hot Springs always has a stigma that it's one of the highest crimes places in the valley right? And over time, we've continuously said that crime is coming down in Desert Hot Springs," says Mayor Matas.

Cruz hopes the negative image will fade as well.

"It's not that bad. It's not bad. It's, you know, there's a lot of families here. A lot of families of all races and they're wholesome," says Cruz.

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Miyoshi Price

Miyoshi joined KESQ News Channel 3 in April 2022. Learn more about Miyoshi here.


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