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The Orion

Chico Police Department releases 2015 annual report

Chico PD created an app so users can easily access the police. Photo credit: Kayla Fitzgerald

Chico could be transforming into a safer area to live, and it might be due to the recent changes and actions of the Chico Police Department.

The department released its annual report of 2015 that discusses the accomplishments of 2015, plans and goals for 2016, and many crime statistics.

Among those accomplishments, the department implemented five new ordinances, participated in public safety meetings, purchased body cameras and restructured the department.

According to the report, the department reorganized the command level by replacing two captain positions with a deputy chief and lieutenant. The restructure has allowed for more community-focused organization and better communication with the public.

With these new arrangements, both Chico and University Police are working together to make the campus and surrounding area safer for students and the public.

“The mile around campus should be the safest. The safer city of Chico is, the safer the students are,” said Chief of Police Michael O’Brien at a recent Police Community Advisory Board meeting.

In the report, part one crime statistics are compared between 2014 and 2015. Robberies decreased by 20 percent, assaults remained the same but all other categories saw an increase. Those with increases included homicide, forced rape, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft.

The report also includes a first quarter comparison of part one crimes in 2015 and 2016. The only category with an increase was motor vehicle theft, with 7 percent. Homicides decreased by 100 percent, robbery by 54 percent, burglary by 20 percent, assault by 18 percent and larceny by 3 percent.

Photo credit: Kayla Fitzgerald

“Looking at the report, we see a 4 percent increase in total crime stats from 2014-2015 and a decrease by 7 percent in the first three months of 2016. We are working to continue to drop those numbers,” O’Brien said.

Some students found the report to be reassuring.

“Last year I heard so many shootings it made me feel like I wasn’t safe walking around at night,” said Brittany Ward, sophomore health science major. “Seeing these stats make me feel much safer.”

Other students feel that Chico is the same.

“It is good to know that the crime numbers are decreasing, but it’s still the beginning of the year. I think it will take a few more months of decreasing numbers to make me feel safer,” said Andres Corrales, sophomore recreation major.

The report also discusses other accomplishments of the department in the last year. A Target team was re-established in September 2015. The department had a team in the past, but it was disbanded due to budget cuts.

The new Target team looks to solve problems of community crimes and safety issues beyond routine police patrol. They work to find long-term solutions for those issues.

Since September, Target developed a Help program which pays for transportation for individuals who benefit from support services outside of Chico. The program is privately funded and facilitated by police.

The team also created an app. The app allows users to easily access the police department. It also gives police a convenient, creative platform to communicate with the public. Any Apple or Android phone can download the app.

To read the full report, visit the department homepage.

Chico PD reorganized the command level by replacing two captain positions with a deputy chief and lieutenant. Photo credit: Kayla Fitzgerald

Kayla Fitzgerald can be reached at [email protected] or @kaylafitz_20 on Twitter.

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