2016 Crime stats for PB not good!

Once again, out of 125 City of San Diego communities, Pacific Beach ranks 2nd overall with 216 violent crimes (Click here to see SDPD crime stats by neighborhood).

This has been going on for years, as can be seen in this graph of the top communities for total violent crime from 2011 to 2016.

 
Only East Village had a higher incidence of violent crime. It is simply unacceptable that this criminal activity continues in our community. There were 31 “reported” sexual assaults! We are averaging nearly 20 violent crimes per month. Click here to download a graph->  Violent Crime Top 10 2011-2016

Over the past 5.5 months, there were 306 drug/alcohol violations within .50 miles of 1000 Garnet Avenue. To view a map that demonstrates how crime is primarily occurring in our business district, click here -> CrimeMapping (2-13-17)

By contrast, PBs residential neighborhoods have very low violent crime but are stigmatized by the by the high crime in our business district. Pacific Beach Crime Stats (2013-16)

Community leaders have made numerous requests (via email, phone, letters, etc.) to our city leaders to increase enforcement but more importantly, to get in front of the problem via alcohol licensing/permitting land use ordinance policy. Click here to see ->  PBPG report on proposed policy. The number of violent crimes, as well as other “non-violent” crimes, is simply unacceptable. The non-response from the City is simply unacceptable.  Pacific Beach Crime Stats (2013-16)

Please email or call Mayor Faulconer and Councilmember Zapf expressing your concern and demand action.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer, (619) 236-6330, kevinfaulconer@sandiego.gov
Councilmember Lorie Zapf, (619) 236-6622, loriezapf@sandiego.gov


911 and Non-Emergency call answers Improved!

Did you need to call 911 or the police non-emergency line recently? Hopefully not, but if you did, you should have noticed faster handling of your call. Seven months ago, 911 calls were answered in 15-20 seconds on average. Now, 911 calls are answered in 3 seconds on average! And 93% of the time it’s under 10 seconds, which is better than the national standard (90%). Previously, the non-emergency line hold time was 15-35 minutes; now it’s averaging 4 minutes! These are some big improvements that the SDPD has worked hard to achieve!

What has changed? Captain Jerry Hara, SDPD Communications Director, described some of these changes and improvements at the last PB Town Council meeting:

One change is the “Phone Tree”. With over 140,000 calls coming in monthly, the Phone Tree directs calls to the right department quickly, freeing up valuable time for the dispatchers.

Other significant changes include the hiring of 36 new trainees in the communications department. It takes four months to train for the non-emergency line plus another five months for the 911 line. Also added were 12 floor supervisors for mentoring and coaching, Plus, 90 police officers have been trained to assist during peak times. These officers volunteer in their off-duty time.

How you can help:

  • When many 911 or non-emergency calls are coming in at the same time, you may have to wait longer because of higher priority calls. Please don’t hang up or you will loose your place in the queue.
  • If you call 911 by mistake, stay on the line and tell the dispatcher this is not an emergency and that you called by mistake. If you hang up, the dispatcher is required to call back to confirm whether or not it was not an emergency, which delays the dispatcher from handling other calls.
  • If you keep your phone in your back pocket, make sure the phone is off. This avoids a misdial or “butt call”. In a five-week period, SDPD received 12,000 of these calls!

High crime in PB bar district – Again!

On Wednesday, February 3rd, the San Diego Police Department will deliver its annual “Crime Briefing” to the City Council’s Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods committee (PS&LN). Crime statistics for the first 11 months of 2015 have been posted on their website and are shown graphically below: http://www.sandiego.gov/police/services/statistics/index.shtml

 

image001Once again PB is near the top for violent crime (mostly alcohol-fueled fights and assaults), almost all of which occurred in the “bar district.” The police have been doing an outstanding job at an impossible task.  It is past time for the City to enact policies that will give our police the tools and funding they need to reduce this high crime. And every year, PB continues to get additional new/expanded alcohol licenses, sometimes even over the objections of the police and the local staff of the ABC.

Since SavePB.org was formed in 2005, we’ve been working to reduce the crime in our business district that is a direct result of the over-concentration of alcohol businesses, and their problematic operations. We have researched and proposed proven solutions, which include establishing city control over where and how new alcohol businesses operate, and using a cost recovery fee to fund enhanced police monitoring and enforcement. However, so far the City has been unwilling to adopt these solutions, and a result, crime in our business district remains high. (Fortunately, crime remains low in our residential neighborhoods!) As always, it is critical for City officials to hear from concerned citizens who want effective action to reduce alcohol-related crime.

We encourage you to email your experiences and comments to our City officials:

Email to PS&LN Committee members and staff, and to the mayor:
martiemerald@sandiego.gov; chriscate@sandiego.gov; myrtlecole@sandiego.gov; toddgloria@sandiego.gov; mberumen@sandiego.gov; kevinfaulconer@sandiego.gov

The City must adopt new policies that give the City (not the ABC) land-use control over where and how new alcohol businesses operate; and that provide police with the funding and tools they need to educate, monitor and enforce to ensure best business practices that reduce alcohol-related crime. Many other California cities have successfully used such policies to reduce crime and to improve business districts as well as residents quality of life. Read PB Planning Group 2011 report for more info on issues and solutions: 

It’s time to give police the tools they need to make Pacific Beach safer. It’s good for the hospitality industry, for tourism, for all businesses, and for residents too.


Let’s Keep All of Pacific Beach Safe for Everyone

Please attend this meeting to demand solutions that will prevent and reduce crime:
“San Diego Police Presentation on 2014 Crime in San Diego”
Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee (SD City Council)
Wednesday, Feb 25th, 2:00 pm
City Hall, 202 C Street, 12th Floor

The good news is that from 2013 to 2014, crime went down about 2% overall in San Diego and our San Diego Police have been doing an outstanding job! Unfortunately, violent crime has increased in some areas.

Most of us feel safe in our community of Pacific Beach, and rightly so because our residential neighborhoods have very little violent crime. However, the same cannot be said of certain areas in our business district.

Violent crime in Pacific Beach increased 14% from 2013 to 2014. Total violent crimes went from 189 to 216, and rapes went from 10 to 18. Crime stats by community are available at ARJIS.org  or click on Crime Data tables here: Crime San Diego 2014 and Crime San Diego 2013 

Most of these violent crimes are alcohol-fueled assaults occurring in areas of our business district that are concentrated with bars and bar-like restaurants operating with business models reliant on maximum sales of alcohol and over-serving. This often results in over-intoxicated patrons, who go out into our community and commit crimes ranging from assault, rape and DUI to vandalism and negative impacts on residents’ quality of life.

In 2014, the top six communities for violent crime were East Village, Pacific Beach, North Park, Logan Heights, Gaslamp and Hillcrest – all but one have nightlife/entertainment-oriented business districts filled with bars and bar-like restaurants. Pacific Beach also carries the burden of having more DUIs and citations for public urination than any other community in San Diego.

The bottom line of the Police report will likely be that crime is going down. And we should applaud our police for doing such an excellent job. But our police have been given an impossible task because enforcement alone cannot solve the high crime in our business districts. We also need effective crime prevention measures. The City needs to adopt policies that will prevent the poor business practices that result in high crime, while maintaining safe, vibrant and healthy business districts.

Mayor Faulconer has said multiple times, “Safe neighborhoods are our first priority” and Police Chief Zimmerman has said recently, “We would rather prevent crime than pick up after it.” We need to ask our City Officials, “Why is crime going up in our community and what are we going to do to reverse it?” “Why are we allowing these high-crime business districts to drain police resources from other communities and squander taxpayer dollars?” “Why aren’t we taking measures to prevent the problem business practices that are causing the high crime?”

We need to demand that our City, not Sacramento/ABC, be in control of how and where late-night alcohol businesses operate. Our City needs to adopt the land-use policy solutions used successfully by scores of other California cities to prevent and reduce crime by regulating late-night alcohol businesses operations, such as:

  1. An ordinance that grandfathers in existing alcohol businesses as long as they remain law-abiding operators; 
  2. An ordinance that requires new businesses that serve alcohol past 11pm to obtain a conditional use permit with conditions to prevent problematic operations that lead to crime;
  3. All alcohol businesses pay a reasonable, sliding scale cost-recovery fee to fund police enforcement, monitoring and education to prevent problematic operations and crime.

What You Can Do
Attend Wednesday’s meeting —
 Tell your personal stories about how the crime and quality of life impacts have affected you.  Express your outrage at the violent crime, DUI, public drunkenness and other negative impacts that result from the bad business operations.  Demand the City adopt the above land-use policies to provide City control, not Sacramento/ABC control, over how alcohol-licensed businesses operate. (If you do not wish to speak, you can cede your time to others who need extra time.)

Email your comments to the Mayor, City Council, Police Chief and City Attorney: 
kevinfaulconer@sandiego.gov; sherrilightner@sandiego.gov; loriezapf@sandiego.gov; toddgloria@sandiego.gov; myrtlecole@sandiego.gov;  markkersey@sandiego.gov; chriscate@sandiego.gov; scottsherman@sandiego.gov; davidalvarez@sandiego.gov; martiemerald@sandiego.gov; sdpdpolicechief@pd.sandiego.gov; cityattorney@sandiego.gov

(PSLN Committee members are Marti Emerald (Chair), Chris Cate, Todd Gloria and Myrtle Cole, but all of these city officials need to hear our concerns)

For more information contact Scott Chipman at scott@chipman.info


Captain’s Advisory Board meeting March 18th

A Captain’s Advisory Board meeting was held on March 18th.   Here are topics that were covered:

  1. Property Crime is up. But you can do a lot to help yourself and your neighbors.  Property crime is often due to easy entry through unlocked windows, doors and gates.  What you can do: If a crime occurs in your neighborhood, report it to the police and post it on nextdoor.com so that other residents will be on the alert.
  2. Pedestrian accidents are on the rise. “…of 55 pedestrian deaths in San Diego last year, 51 were the pedestrian’s fault.”  As of last Friday, the Traffic Unit has started handing out citations for: Jaywalking, bicyclists not observing stop signs and breaking other traffic laws and distracted drivers and pedestrians, e.g. on cell phones or texting, etc.   What you can do:  Don’t be one of those people!
  3. In April, a PISO Officer will be working in our area on weekends and nights. This officer will address illegal parking, e.g. enforcing the 72 hour rule and people staying overnight in RV’s.  They will also respond to lower priority Police calls.  What you can do:  Report illegal parking in your neighborhood.  Click here to find out how-> Illegal Parking.
  4. Many, many bikes are stolen in PB.  In an effort to stem the tide, the Police have acquired 2 bikes fitted with GPS tracking devices.  These bikes will be used as decoys in areas where bicycles are frequently stolen.
  5. We have a Beach Team of 8 to 9 Officers patrolling the beach and boardwalk.  At night, they patrol the business district.  Last year, they wrote over 1,000 citations.  This past weekend, the division hired two officers on overtime and had them patrol the boardwalk for 6 hours.  These officers wrote citations for alcohol, smoking, dogs and made themselves visible to the many “spring breakers”  .
  6. Officers now regularly conduct inspections of bar and restaurants to ensure all conditions of Entertainment Permits and Alcohol Licenses are being met.  As a result, compliance with conditions has noticeably improved. Inspections are random and complaint driven. Police look for overcrowding and for adequate security..  They check for open windows and doors that may be contributing to a noise problems. What you can do: If you notice this type of problem, please call the SDPD-emergency # : 619 531-2000
  7. Quality of Life Team:  We are fortunate to have 2 outstanding Officers who address the transient problem in our community. They achieve the work of two Squads. These 2 officers help transients with transportation to a shelter.  They also enforce illegal lodging and issue stay away orders.  What you can do: If you see suspicious activity or groups of people that make you uncomfortable don’t just pass by, report it to the police non-emergency #, 619 531-2000.
  8. On a Saturday night in March, a DUI checkpoint was conducted in the 2700 block of Grand Ave. between 11 p.m. Saturday and 3 a.m. Sunday.  As a result, 14 drivers were not driving our city streets while drunk.  Around 1,575 vehicles passed through the checkpoint. The checkpoint was funded by a grant through the California Office of Traffic Safety.

Captain’s Advisory Board

One of our own is serving on the recently-formed SDPD Northern Division Captain’s Advisory Board. What is the Captain’s Advisory Board?

The Captain’s Advisory Board was reinstated by our new Northern Division Police Captain, Jerry Hara. The Police Advisory Board is made up of officers and community members from the Northern Division. Our Northern Division is made up of neighborhoods including Bay Ho, Bay Park, Clairemont Mesa North, East and West, La Jolla, Mission Bay Park, Mission Beach, Torrey Pines, University City and Pacific Beach. There are over 20 people on the Board. Block Captains and residents from different areas.The purpose of the Board is to promote a 2-way dialog between the Police and residents about community issues. This helps our Police tailor their policing approach to our needs. Marcella Teran is our Representative. She was selected to participate on the Board because of her involvement in the Pacific Beach Neighborhood Watch (PB NW). Under her leadership, Neighborhood Watch groups in PB have grown from 13 to 53!


Neighborhood Watch grows

NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH:
We have over 53 Neighborhood Watch (NW) groups in Pacific Beach and the police are using us as a model for other communities to follow! NW allows neighbors to connect in-person with each other, which makes our neighborhoods safer and builds our community. NW allows residents to have direct communication with the police about issues that concern them. It’s easy to start a NW – just email Marcella Teran and she will assist you and answer any questions you may have. marcellateran@gmail.com


Six Years After – Alcohol Free Beaches in Pacific Beach

Here is a detailed review of what occurred leading up to the alcohol-free beach policy and what happened after the beaches became alcohol-free. We hope you will consider this a reminder of the great things community involvement can accomplish.  We  thank Scott Chipman for this thorough review.  Continue reading


Support Police With Bicycle Lights & Sirens

A SavePB.org Communication
November 8, 2011

PAESAN-Police-Fundraiser Flyer

Contributing to the Police Bicycle Resource Program is a good way to help our police officers enforce the law and deter crime in Pacific Beach.

According to police, a few weeks ago at about 12:30 a.m. on a Friday, officers spotted a white Toyota near Dawes and Missouri streets that was reported to have been used in at least three similar robberies there. Two men armed with knives, including a women driver, were apprehended. Police officers were able to approach the suspects unnoticed on their bikes.

Police say that bikes are effective tools to provide stealth as well as place them on the street interfacing with the public. However, our Northern Division police cannot use all of their bikes because they are short on necessary equipment.

Continue reading