Antioch Police Chief Allan Cantando provided the Antioch City Council with a presentation Tuesday night highlighting how crime was down 10.5% when compared to this time last year.
The numbers compare statistics between January and September where a total of 3,904 crimes have occurred (459 less than 2012). Arrests are down 5.9% while citations are also down by 23.1%.
“These are great numbers considering our staffing and we are on the upswing and will have more officers in the future,” proclaimed Cantando.
While homicide increased by 80%, the chief reminded the council they are dealing with very small numbers from 5-to-9. However, he did say “One homicide is one to many”.
A new slide that was inserted was how Antioch compared to other cities with similar population. This was added at the request of Councilwoman Monica Wilson. It highlights how Antioch has similar population, but with fewer officers on the streets.
Having said that, their clearance rates are right where the chief thought they would be due to staffing levels. He explained how crime is revolving and the council was only looking at a short “snap shot” of clearance rates.
He shared a slide from the Contra Costa Times which highlighted clearance rates on homicides over a period of six years between 2006-2012. It highlights how Antioch ranked second at 78.7% (61 homicides with 48 cleared) behind San Pablo at 92.3% (39 homicides with 36 cleared). Pittsburg was at 64.1%, Contra Costa County at 41.2%, and Richmond was just 30.7%.
“Over a six-year period, we are the lowest staffed city and second in our clearance ranked,” said Cantando.
Response Times have dropped from 11:04 to 10:037 seconds explained Cantando stating it was good news but that it was not where he wanted it to be. His goal is around 7:00 minutes.
One of the more interesting parts of the presentation was on Traffic which the Chief explained sometimes the numbers do not make any sense. Without a traffic unit, accidents and fatalities are down. Fatalities are down 42.9 percent (from 7 deaths in 2012 to just 4 deaths this year). Overall accidents are down 4%.
The Chief closed his presentation thanking the council.
“We are approaching the Thanksgiving season and I am very grateful to all the support the council has given the police department. Its also noticed when all of you show up to swearing in and promotions and its greatly appreciated. It makes a world of difference,” explained Cantando. “I want to thank Jim Jakel before he leaves. Jim gave me my chance to be a police chief. You get your chance to be chief when someone believes in you and he gave me a chance.”
Mayor Harper asked the chief where does the revenue go when a traffic citation is issued.
Chief Cantando stated that a $350 ticket, most of it goes to fund the courts libraries stating that Antioch would be lucky to receive $50 of that ticket but noted that if an officer is going to court, it might actually cost the city money.
Councilman Tony Tiscareno stated that he was pleased with the presentation.
“There is a lot of positive things in this community and this (Police Department) is one that should be promoted,” said Tiscareno.
Meanwhile Councilman Gary Agopian stated they are moving in the right direction.
“I really appreciate the city comparison because it helps out with reality of where we are. The comparison shows a true need for Measure C,” said Agopian. “We are too high and you are committed to reducing the number”
As for hiring more officers, the police department is working with 84-full-time positions being filled with 13-lateral officers in the process of being hired in which 1-officer has been given a conditional offer.