Antioch Police Chief Brooks gives video update on increase in staffing, improvements in public safety

Screenshot of Antioch Police Chief T Brooks’ first Vlog on Oct. 26, 2020. From APD Facebook page.

On Tuesday, Antioch Police Chief T Brooks posted his first video message, known as a vlog, on the department’s Facebook page sharing good news about the increase in staffing to 120 sworn and reductions in Part 1 crimes.

Following is the transcript of his vlog:

“Hey, everyone! T Brooks here, YOUR Chief of Police in the City of Antioch.  During the past few weeks, I’ve had several community members contacting me in an effort to educate themselves about the police department.  And as I reflect back on several of these conversations, I realized they revolved around three specific topics:

  • Police officer staffing
  • Crime statistics, and
  • Response times to calls for service.

So, I figured, ‘Hey! Maybe I can share this information with our loyal social media fan base? I mean, we do have more than 23,000 followers, and I’m sure many of you have these same questions and would love to hear the answers directly from me.’

Now in the past, when I wanted to share information with you, I’d type out a post for people to read.  And for those of you who know me, you know I can get pretty wordy with my posts.  I mean well and try to be as thorough and transparent as possible. But lately, I’ve seen a lot of people making videos to communicate their messages to the public. And I thought, ‘What the heck?  I’ll give that a try.’ So, here we go:

But before I begin, I want to establish a benchmark for the context of the conversation, and provide a little background on what helped us get to where we are now:

The year is 2012, and Antioch suffered its most crime ridden year in recent recorded history.  With more than 1,000 violent crimes reported, Antioch had the unfortunate distinction of being named the fourth most dangerous city in California.  Staffing at the police department was severely impacted due to the recession, and we were grossly understaffed.  At that time we didn’t have the resources or ability to do anything proactive to prevent crimes from occurring.  In fact, we struggled just to respond in a timely manner AFTER a crime occurred.

Our community, fed up with feeling unsafe, made a bold move.  In 2013, Antioch residents put their trust in our elected officials and police department when they overwhelmingly passed Measure C, a half-cent sales tax that, in part, had a goal of increasing police staffing to reduce crime and improve 911 emergency response times.  Then in 2018, with the expiration of Measure C looming, Antioch residents once again chose to tax themselves an additional half-cent, and approved Measure W.  And while Measure W had a broader focus on how funds would be used, public safety remained one of the identified priorities.

In short, seven years ago our community opted to invest in public safety. And we here at the Antioch Police Department took the trust you put in us very seriously. So, what’s the ultimate outcome of this investment?

Police Officer Staffing:

  • Prior to the recession, Antioch PD was fully staffed with 126 police officers. But then reduced budgets cut our staffing to a low of 78 officers in 2012.  Thanks to Measure C and now Measure W, we currently have 120 police officers working to keep you and your families safe!  That’s a 54% increase in police officers – putting the Antioch Police Department staffing at a level we haven’t seen in almost a decade.

Response Times:

  • In Antioch, response times are measured from the moment a dispatcher picks up the phone, to the moment an officer arrives on scene.  Back in 2012, the average response time to an emergency call for service reached a dismal 11 minutes and 4 seconds.  Today, our average response time is down to 7 minutes and 35 seconds – which means we’re getting to those most in need of help 31% faster than before!
  • But not every call for service we go to is an emergency.  In fact, emergency calls make up only about 9% of all the calls we handle.  Approximately 48% of calls are categorized as urgent, 34% are considered routine, and 10% are informational.  Response times to these calls also saw a significant decrease.  On average, we’re now getting to urgent calls 41% faster, routine calls 77% faster, and informational calls a whopping 91% faster!

Crime Stats:

  • As I mentioned earlier, the recession adversely impacted our community as well as our police department.  With the budget cuts we experienced, both police officer and non-sworn positions were defunded and crime surged in Antioch.  There were 1068 violent crimes, and 4757 property crimes reported in 2012.  But as our staffing grew and we were able to work proactively as well as reactively, as our response times to calls decreased and we were able to provide a higher level of service, and as we were now able to engage the community in ways that make our community safer, we are now in a much better place than we were before.  By the end of 2019, Antioch recorded its seventh consecutive year of declining Part I crime, with violent crime down 39% from 2012 levels, and property crime down 32%.  And this downward trend is continuing through September of 2020, with violent crime currently 10% lower than last year, and property crime 9% lower – which is definitely great news!

Now please don’t confuse my happiness at the fact we might see our eighth straight year of declining crime as being content.  Actually, I’m far from it.  We still have a lot of work to do to reduce crime in our community even further.  And I definitely don’t want to lose ground and go back to crime levels we saw in the past.  But with your continued support, along with the hard work and dedication of the amazing men and women of the Antioch Police Department, I believe we’ll continue making progress, and Antioch will be a safer place to live, work, and play.

So, there you have it, my first attempt at a vlog (as my kids called it).  Let me know what you think.  If you liked the video and want to see more – I can do that.  If not, at least I tried.  I hope you found this information helpful, and thank you for allowing me to be your chief of police!  It truly is My honor!

 

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the attachments to this post:


APD Crime 2019 vs 2020


Chief T Brooks vlog screenshot 10-26-20


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