Chief Cantando to give annual report at Council meeting, Tuesday night
By Allen Payton
The Antioch Police Department announced this week “that 2015 was a safer year for its citizens” with Part 1 violent crime down 9.2%, Party 1 property crimes down 6.6%, Priority 1 response time down by 30 seconds, and total arrests up 15.2%.
“What this translates to is that crime is down, arrest are up, and we are responding to priority 1 calls for service 30 seconds faster than in 2014,” stated Captain Diane Aguinaga, Antioch Police Field Services. “The men and women of the Antioch Police department have been working very hard to increase the staffing levels in order to serve the community better. We continue to foster support from the community and maintain strong partnerships with groups like the Crime Prevention Commission and Neighborhood Watch.”
“With the combination of declining crime and increased enforcement, the Antioch Police Department enjoyed one of its most productive years in the last decade,” she continued. “Chief Cantando will be expanding on all of the 2015 accomplishments at the January 26, 2016 City council meeting.”
“We would also like to extend our deepest gratitude to the businesses, community groups, and citizens of Antioch for their ardent support as we continue to proudly serve this city,” Aguinaga added. “Thank you.”
According to the City of Antioch 2015 Crime Statistics on the city’s website, there were seven homicides in 2015 versus nine in 2014; 53 rapes instead of 54 the year before; 280 robberies over 320; and 431 aggravated assaults over 466. Arson was also down with 36 in 2015 versus 43 in 2014. The largest drop in Part 1 crimes was burglaries with 862 in 2015 versus 1,317 in 2014, a 34.5% decrease.
But, theft was up with 2,026 in 2015 over 1,850 the prior year, a 9.5% increase. Motor vehicle thefts were almost the same with one more at 1,024 in 2015 versus 1,023 in 2014.
While violent and property crimes were down, with the total number of arrests up over 2014, overall crime appears to be up. There were 737 more Adult Arrests in 2015 over 2014, but 82 fewer Juvenile Arrests for a net increase of 655.
When asked how the APD can claim crime is down when arrests are up, Cantando replied, “We’re comparing our crime to 2014. We’re being more proactive with more time where we were able to go out and make more arrests.”
“For example if we had 10 burglaries last year and arrested five people for those burglaries and this year we had 10 burglaries and arrested eight people for them, arrests are up, but crime was the same,” he explained.
The APD doesn’t keep statistics on non-Part 1 crimes, which are the ones they have to report to the FBI, “which is what every city across the country has to report,” Cantando stated.
“We’re comparing apples to apples with all other departments who report to the FBI,” he continued. “We may go out and arrest people for a drug crime. But, that’s not a Part 1 crime.”
Calls for service, which aren’t necessarily crimes, such as auto accidents, are also up because “more people are calling us and reporting crime, so we’re getting to those crimes and making those arrests,” he added.
According to an FBI report on the 461 cities and 1 unincorporated community, out of a total of 482 cities, in California that report crimes, Antioch was ranked the 428th safest city in the state in 2014. Neighboring cities ranked higher on the list. Pittsburg was ranked 224th, Brentwood was 156th and Oakley was 88th safest. The safest cities in the county were Orinda at 7th, followed by San Ramon at 11th and Danville at 19th. For similar size cities to Antioch, Concord was 304th and Richmond was ranked one higher at 427th. Oakland was ranked the least safe city in the Bay Area at 460th and Stockton was close at 458th. The final rankings for 2015 are not yet available. For more information on the FBI 2015 crime statistics click here.
To hear Cantando’s report to the Antioch City Council, you can either attend the meeting in the Council Chambers at City Hall at West 3rd and H Streets in downtown or watch it live on Comcast Local Cable Access Channel 24 or on the city’s website via live streaming at http://ci.antioch.ca.us/CityGov/citycouncilmeetings.htm. The Council meetings begin at 7:00 p.m.