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Crime in Lake Forest, Part 2: Solving Cases

BLOG: Compared to our neighbors, we have more crime and more unsolved cases.

In our last blog we looked at the crime rate in 2011 and 2012 in 10 Southern California cities monitored by the OC Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) and we found that -

• Lake Forest continues to have among the highest local crime rates, 14 percent higher than the average for 10 neighboring cities in Southern California.
• When 2008-9 is compared with 2011-2 we show a 5 percent increase in Part 1 (serious) crimes and a 5 percent decrease in Part 2 crimes.
• When looked at from a national perspective, our combined crime rate of 4,090 crimes per 100,000 is 24 percent higher than the average crime rate in the U.S.

These findings are not cause for alarm, but they aren’t cause for complacency either.

Specific Crimes

I wanted to take a moment to look at some specifics before we turn our attention to clearance rates. It’s all well and good to talk about Part 1 or serious crimes and Part 2 crimes, but what does this really mean? Here is the breakdown for some specific crime categories for 2011-12. These figures are the total number of crimes (not the rate):

• Criminal Homicide – 2
• Forcible Rape – 9
• Assault – 899
• Sex Offenses – 44
• Narcotics – 668
• DUI – 383
• Vandalism – 697
• Residential Burglary – 234
• Motor Vehicle Theft - 107

There are some disturbing numbers here, and the fact that Part 1 crimes (like homicide, rape, and assault) are up in 2011-2 compared to 2008-9 is even more disturbing.

Clearance Rate

Now let’s look at the other side of the coin. How good has OCSD been in clearing (solving) these crimes?

In 2009, Lake Forest ranked 5th in clearing Part 1 crimes and 4th in clearing Part 2 crimes. In 2008, Lake Forest ranked 4th in Part 2 and 6th in Part 1. Not exactly a great record, but clearly in the middle of the road compared to our neighbors.

In 2011-12, our average clearance rate for Part 1 crimes was 20 percent and our average clearance rate for Part 2 crimes was 63.5 percent. This placed us 8th in terms of solving Part 1 crimes and 5th on Part 2 crimes. On a comparative basis we are doing worse.

Here is the city by city average clearance rate for 2011-2 listed in rank order from best to worst:

Part 1 (serious) Crimes

Laguna Hills, 32%
Rancho Santa Margarita, 31%
San Clemente, 25%
Mission Viejo, 23%
San Juan Capistrano, 22.5%
Dana Point, 22%
Aliso Viejo, 22%
LAKE FOREST, 20%
Laguna Niguel,  18%
Laguna Woods, 8.5%

Part 2 Crimes

San Juan Capistrano, 71%
Dana Point, 70.5%
Laguna Hills, 64.5%
San Clemente, 64%
LAKE FOREST, 63.5%
Mission Viejo, 62%
Rancho Santa Margarita, 60%
Laguna Niguel,  58%
Laguna Woods, 51%
Aliso Viejo, 47%

Clearance rates for Lake Forest for the 10 year period 2000 to 2009 for Part 1 crimes averaged about 21 percent and the clearance rate for Part 2 crimes averaged about 68 percent. So in 2011-2 we are more or less stable with regard to solving Part 1 crimes, but doing slightly worse solving Part 2 crimes.

On a comparative basis, from 2009 to 2011-2 we are doing less well solving crimes than our neighbors. We went from 5th place solving Part 1 (serious) crimes to 8th place, and from 4th place solving Part 2 crimes to 5th place.

Looked at from another perspective, when compared to the average clearance rate in 2011-2, our ability to solve Part 1 (serious) crimes is 11 percent below our neighbors while our ability to solve Part 2 crimes is 4 percent above.

Specific Crimes

Here are the clearance rates for some specific crime categories for 2011-2 combined

• Criminal Homicide – 100%
• Narcotics – 89%
• Aggravated Assault – 72%
• Sex Offenses – 66%
• Forcible Rape – 55%
• Auto theft – 31%
• Vandalism – 12%
• Residential Burglary – 12%

These figures more or less mirror the national figures. If you commit a serious crime (murder, rape, assault) your chances of being caught are good, and if you commit a minor crime like vandalism or burglary, your chances of getting caught are small.

Summary

Our ability to solve crimes in Lake Forest is more or less in line with national figures, but below our neighboring cities that consistently do better than we do in solving Part 1 (serious) crimes.

Over time, our crime solving in Part 1 crimes has stayed stable around the 20 percent level but our ability to solve Part 2 crimes has declined from the high to the low 60 percent region.

Crime and Solving Crime

Putting the previous article together with our current results, we see that –

With Part 1 (serious) crimes our rate of crime has increased 5 percent in recent years while our ability to solve these crimes has remained the same. With Part 2 crimes, we enjoy 5 percent fewer crimes but our ability to solve these crimes has decreased by approximately the same percentage.

Putting Part 1 and Part 2 crimes together, our crime rate is about the same and our ability to solve the crimes has decreased slightly.

Compared to our neighbors, we are doing less well with regard to suffering from crime and doing less well with regard to solving crimes. Our relative positions in crime rate and in crime solving have both deteriorated.

Going Forward

If the trends are against us, both in crime rate and crime solving, imagine what’s going to happen in the next few years when we increase our population by 12,000 or more people as a result of the recent action by the City Council to add 4,000+ more homes.  One of the few valid predictors of crime rate is population size - the bigger the city, the more likely they will have a higher crime rate. So increasing our population by more than 15 percent can only have a negative impact on the crime rate and our ability to solve crimes.

Recommendations

1. Control Growth.

I’ve said it before in a different context (i.e., the traffic tsunami) but it bears repeating in this context – a dramatic increase in the number of people in our City, at a time when crime is going up and our ability to solve crimes is going down, is an invitation to disaster. The City needs to moderate its growth plans until it can adequately deal with the problems confronting us today.

2. Evaluate Services

It should be clear that our Police force is not doing as good a job as is being done by our neighboring cities, and since we are all under the control of the OCSD, we need to look at why. A thorough study of crime (and crime solving) in Lake Forest is clearly needed.

Should we make better use of civilian staff? Use more volunteers? Shall we have more proactive policing? Would more neighborhood watch programs help? Can we work more closely with HOAs?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

JustUs January 31, 2013 at 04:02 PM
Thank you for your continued effort to deliver more information on City performance to the people, Jim Gardner. I do have a few questions and comments. (1) I'm confused. Under the comments in your previous blog I thought you claimed that the DUI arrests in LF last year dropped to 150 from 223 in the previous year. Now under this blog you claim there were 383. What gives? I'm sure it's just a misunderstanding on my part. (2) I am confused about how 'clearance' is defined. Does that mean the perpetrator was captured and that the case was adjudicated WITH a conviction? If a person is not convicted of a crime (let's say he didn't commit it) is it still considered 'cleared'? (3) Are narcotic cases considered Part 1 or Part 2 crimes? If the cop finds a baggie of weed on someone - is that considered Part 1 or Part 2? How about a baggie of cocaine? I know one might be a misdeameanor and one a felony, but is this differentiated when it comes to the crime classification? Obviously there would be a high clearance rate for narcotics since I assume that they are normally found on the person or in an area under his immediate control. (4) I know people who have been victims of vandalisms, break-in's, thefts or other crimes against property. Sometimes significant losses. I have never heard of the police really investigating these crimes (fingerprints, DNA analysis, etc..). So I guess if someone breaks into our homes we are simply out of luck unless it's on video, right? cont.
JustUs January 31, 2013 at 04:17 PM
(cont.) (5) You claimed before that 37% of the city budget goes to OCSD. Any idea how much of that 37% goes toward retirement benefits (pensions, medical, etc...)? And is there a way to determine a trend. In other words, how much was it in 1990, 2000 and how much today? Of that 37% how much is for LABOR COSTS (salaries, OT, medical, pensions, etc...) versus operating costs (vehicles and accessories, gas, investigative equipment, etc...)? (6) How many crimes are uncovered via proactive police work (cops observing a crime on patrol) versus merely reacting to crimes (911 calls)? Obviously DUI cases would be proactive. I am referring mostly to residential burglaries, vandalism, vehicle theft (both stealing the car or it's contents)? I assume most (if not all) Part 1 crimes would be reactions to 911 calls. (7) Most crimes in LF likely happen west of Trabuco. Maybe even west of Jeronimo. Has there ever been a safety committee that has studied the reason for that? Maybe if we understood why we could take action to mitigate the problem. (8) What percent of the cops are reserve officers (less labor costs) versus full-time active duty cops? Why not use many more reserve cops for patrol duties? That's it for now. I might have more questions later depending on your response.
Jim Gardner January 31, 2013 at 04:30 PM
Hi JustUs, I'm using the system which OCSD uses and their data. The specific crime data in this article are for 2011-2 combined and it's the number of crimes, not the crime rate. The data for DUIs (which I just re-checked) was 150 and 233 which totals 383 which is what I have in the article. This is for both years combined. The narcotics figures are considered Part 2 crimes. They are also for both years combined. The FBI classifications do not take into account the legal system for misdemeanor/felony. They also have a parallel system that talks about "crimes against people" and "crimes against property" which is different from Part 1 and Part 2 which tries to break them up on the basis of severity. It's all a little bit confusing even to someone who works with them. I tried to offer a broad range of crimes when I gave the specific crimes and so I combined both Part 1 and Part 2 crimes. Perhaps this wasn't the best idea. Of those specific crimes listed, murder, rape, residential burglaries, and motor vehicle thefts are Part 1 while vandalism, DUI, narcotics, and sex offenses are Part 2. I think the crime clearance data for the specific crimes in pretty self evident. Police have a limited budget so they deploy their resources in areas where (a) there's a high probability of finding the suspect and (b) it's a major crime.
Jim Gardner January 31, 2013 at 04:41 PM
Hi JustUs, These are excellent questions and I don't have any answers for you. I'm not sure anyone has these answers for some of the more provocative issues, which is why I think we would be well served by a thorough evaluation of crime in our City. These types of studies can be expensive but I'd be prepared to do it for free if the City wanted to act on this data. Of course, if you had "one of the safest cities in the U.S." it would be stupid to spend your time researching these issues.
JustUs January 31, 2013 at 04:44 PM
"This is for both years combined." Oh, that clears it up. I thought it was for one (1) year. "The narcotics figures are considered Part 2 crimes." So if they find someone with a pound of heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine on their person it's a Part 2 crime? That seems silly, doesn't it? The system should differentiate such crimes for statistical purposes. SInce hard drugs literally kill and destroy lives, why wouldn't they be Part 1 crimes? Otherwise, let's stop spending billions on the 'war on drugs' which has been a futile war at best. If someone had, let's say, $15,000 of valuables stolen from their home wouldn't that be a 'major' crime? If it happened to you would you consider it a 'major' crime? How is distribution and sales of a dangerous hard narcotic (heroin, cocaine, meth) not a 'major' crime? Those substances kill people. So if a 25 year old sells heroin to a 15 years old, it's not a 'major' crime? I disagree. Thanks for your response.
JustUs January 31, 2013 at 05:39 PM
"These types of studies can be expensive but I'd be prepared to do it for free if the City wanted to act on this data." It really doesn't take an in-depth study to get to the bottom of these things, Jim. All it was take is a couple pages of printouts with the relevant data and a little home-grown horse sense. IMO they don't want to find the answers. They want the status quo because that is what serves them best. So your chance of getting a study or an evaluation or committee review (or whatever you want to call it) on how to improve police services and the product that they deliver to the City is about the same as the tax accessor showing up in your front door step with a property tax refund and thanking you for being a stellar citzen. Thank you again for your relentless drive to improve our lives.
Jim Gardner January 31, 2013 at 05:45 PM
Yes. I can't say that I agree with the Part 1 vs. Part 2 classification system, but this is what OCSD uses and is often used by other souces too. The other common system is the "crimes against people" vs. "crimes against property" which overlaps a little (e.g., murder, rape, and aggravated assault are crimes against people and also Part 1 crimes) but not completely. If you try to start talking about each individual crime category you have 27 major categories with more than 100 sub-categories so it begins to get a little confusing trying to reach some kind of summary statement. Separate from this, some large Police departments have "Major Crimes Division" and here they tend to specialize according to their individual problems, with murder of course being a part of it. Often you will hear people talk about "violent crimes" as well. For statistical purposes, the Part 1 vs. Part 2 and the "people" vs. "property" are the two most popular ways of talking about crime.
JustUs January 31, 2013 at 06:32 PM
Yes, Jim. It does get complicated and only by digging into the data, separating it out, and really determining the impact these various crimes have on the community would one be able to build a reporting system that really makes sense. Naturally, the knee-jerk reaction would be to list the murdrer-rapes in Part 1. And that makes sense, of course. But is auto theft more serious than some doper selling heroin, coke or meth to high school students? Not in my opinion. People overdose and die from that stuff all the time. Nobody ever died from an auto theft unless the thief crashed into another car. So I see some inconsistency there. Oh well, how it is classified is not the underlying problem. The low clearance rate is. Part of the problem is that government operates so much differently from the private sector in personnel matters. If a loan officer does not move enough loans through his office - he's terminated. If a cop does not clear enough cases - no doubt he keeps his job. So the pressure on a cop to produce is much less than it is for the loan officer. Oh, sure. The cop on the street has to show up on a 911 call. Because the citizens are privy to whether he shows up and the response time. So it's rated directly by the public. What goes on behind closed doors on the investigative side is probably a much different matter. They can't even fire cops for being found civilly liable in Federal court. How would they fire them for being unproductive?
Mike F January 31, 2013 at 09:43 PM
1. What about area, rather than city, density. The Democrsts are mandating much higher residential densities. Lake Forest with new single family housing will emphasis the importance of the family. 2. Would it be workable to compare the numbers and rates of Irvine with the nbers and rates for Saddleback SD cities? Irvine has three times the population of Lake Forest. 3. What if our Chief of Police Services was asked to reduce part 1 and part 2 by 50%; would the Chief think that possible and if so, then what would it take to make it happen?
Mike F February 01, 2013 at 02:49 AM
1. Healthy families and a solid academic education are foundational to legal, oral, and ethical behavior. 2. Density of an area rather than the entire city is more indicative of crime. Democrats have mandated much higher residential density. The emphasis for Lake Forest is detached single family. 3. What would a comparison with Irvine show with almost three times the population. 4. Has the Chief of Police Services been asked if it would be possible to reduce part 1 and part 2 50% and if so, then what would it take?
Jim Gardner February 01, 2013 at 06:22 PM
Hi Mike, Boy! Good questions. 1. Higher density usually leads to more crime. But this is often because high density varies with income, and income is a better predictor of crime, and along with city size is one of the major ones. The smaller the city and the lower the density, the lower the crime. That's what worries me when we plan to add 4000+ more homes which means 12,000+ more people or an increase of 15%. Plus, my understanding is that while these are going to be mostly (but not entirely) SFR, the densities are going to be higher than the previous SFR plots, so this isn't good in terms of keeping crime under control. 2. Irvine is 3 times the size of Lake Forest yet has a lower crime rate, showing that size alone is not necessarily causal. Mission Viejo is 20% larger than LF and has a lower crime rate. Irvine is twice as big as MV and has a lower crime rate. So the people at Irvine are doing something very special (even if they can't get the Great Park up and running). I suspect one of the differences is that Irvine has its own Police force. I'm not bad-mouthing OCSD, but here in LF we are a small part of a larger organization, and there (Irvine) they are dedicated to the City. Again, I think our Police are also dedicated, but they have a dual allegiance and at the end of the day, their supervsors ultimately reside with the County not the City. 3. 50% is a pretty big number. I'd be happy with 10% to start.
JustUs February 01, 2013 at 07:29 PM
Jim, not sure if those 4000 new homes in the hills will add that much to the crime stats. Afterall, those homes will be sold at a premium at a price that the underclass will not be able to afford. Rich people don't commit you average run-of-the-mill crimes like shown in Part 1 and Part 2. They rob banks by owning them which is a very lucrative business that goes unpunished 99% of the time in America. I agree that those new 4000 homes will add to congestion and probably displace lots of coyotes. But more homes is more money in the government coffers and revenue trumps orderliness and nature 100% of the time. If these folks could enact an ordinance to yank the gold fillings out of the mouths of people who die within the city limits and deposit those metals into the municipal public treasure - it would happen tomorrow. Let's not kid ourselves here. As I mentioned before, I would like a breakdown of where your documented LF crimes occur. I would triple down that 75% (possibly higher) of the crimes happen west of Trabuco. Heck, if you drew a straight line from where Jeronimo ends I bet 65% happen west of Jeronimo. And naturally there is a reason for that which no one really cares to discuss these days. It's too divisive. So whatever solutions may exist get flushed. Yeah, I agree. Irvine has it's own PD and that probably makes a difference. Any idea what % of Irvine's budget is spent on Irvine PD? It's probably more than 37%. I wonder how many LF cops live in LF?
Mike F February 01, 2013 at 08:40 PM
Jim, The Democrats are intentionally displacing the family and future generations with lifestyle choices for the present. What would it take to reduce crime by 50%? Politically, Bureaucrats and Libertarians are not concerned with the rule-of -law. What if, what if Lake Forest looked into contracting with the Irvine Police Department? We would be an extension of their service area. The Sherrif's Department has a sub-station in Aliso Viejo and Aliso Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita do not border the freeway. The LF CPS wants the job but is accommodating the MPS whose motto is not on my watch.
Mike F February 01, 2013 at 08:40 PM
Jim, The Democrats are intentionally displacing the family and future generations with lifestyle choices for the present. What would it take to reduce crime by 50%? Politically, Bureaucrats and Libertarians are not concerned with the rule-of -law. What if, what if Lake Forest looked into contracting with the Irvine Police Department? We would be an extension of their service area. The Sherrif's Department has a sub-station in Aliso Viejo and Aliso Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita do not border the freeway. The LF CPS wants the job but is accommodating the MPS whose motto is not on my watch.
Jim Gardner February 01, 2013 at 09:03 PM
Hi Mike, I'm not sure that our problem would be solved by contracting with Irvine instead of OCSD. There would still be a split allegience. But given Irvine's outstanding record, it's certainly worth an inquiry by the City the next time our police contract is up for bid. BTW - it's certainly worth mentioning that one of the reasons our City council rolled over soooo easily on the question of Musick Jail putting up a new 512 bed facility that will house maximum security prisoners is that the Sheriff was asking us to roll over, and since the Sheriff of OC controls our Police force, it's difficult to say "no". OTOH the City of Irvine had no such ties and sued her. There's a lesson there.
Jim Gardner February 01, 2013 at 09:20 PM
Hi Justus Here's a link to http://www.mylocalcrime.com/#92630 It shows some recent crime stats which show that from 1/18 to 1/30 most of the crimes in Lake Forest took place above Trabuco. I'm not sure this data is correct, though, but it is something. My spotcrime daily report for 2/1/2013 shows that 2/3 of the crimes that day took place below Trabuco. So go figure! Now go to http://www.mylocalcrime.com/#92610 This seems to show that there is as much crime in Foothill Ranch (92610) as there is in Central LF (92630) This is the problem with getting your data from the Internet and why I use the data from OCSD in this study. Several people questioned me about why my data was different from data they saw on sites on the Internet, and this is exactly why I went to the source in getting the data I used. The bottom line is that I can't tell you exactly, but it looks like living above Trabuco doesn't insulate you from crime.
JustUs February 01, 2013 at 09:24 PM
".....and since the Sheriff of OC controls our Police force, it's difficult to say "no". OTOH the City of Irvine had no such ties and sued her." Oh, I always thought that was the PRIMARY reason the Council UNANIMOUSLY caved on the Musick issue. They sold their own citizens down the river to please the Sheriff. So the tail wags the dog. You'd have to be blind not to see that. I listened to their arguments for Musick at that critical meeting and they had such gaping holes that you could drive a Mack truck through them. On it's face it's so absurd. How would such a massive expansion of a jail and adding higher level security inmates to an area with residential neighborhoods not place the people who live there at a higher risk? Do they think we're all 3rd graders out here? It's the lies that really bother me. Because if they are willing to lie about one very important issue, why would they not lie about all the others? If they actually told us the TRUTH and did it anyway I would be more accepting. It's the lies that are tremendously disconcerting. Look, one joker just escaped from Musick in December, in it's present state. How could it possibly be 'secure' by expanding it greatly (adding thousands of new inmates) and putting more dangerous crooks inside??? heh. On it's face, it's pure absurdity!
JustUs February 01, 2013 at 09:33 PM
Hogwash, Jim. Anyone who believes more crime occurs above Trabuco is easily fooled. Look at the crimewatch reports that are posted in the Patch. The large, large majority happens west of Trabuco and even west of Jeronimo. I have spoken to cops before. When I brought it up I was told most of the stuff happens as you move towards the freeway and that the homes toward the hills are by far safer. Everybody has some sort of agenda and all data must be taken with a grain of salt unless it's verified as accurate.
Jim Gardner February 01, 2013 at 11:12 PM
I'm just pointing out the problems when you rely on Internet information rather than direct sources. Looking at the spotcrime data it looks like there is an equal amount of crime above and below Trabuco, but I don't have access to the actual OCSD data so I can't say for sure.
Jim Gardner February 01, 2013 at 11:18 PM
I agree completely. When public servants lie so boldly something is very wrong with our system. They said that no maximum security inmates would be housed at the new jail when in fact this is exactly what was written into their contract with the Sheriff! Exactly. Not only written in, but the Sheriff has the absolute authority to decide how, when, and how many. They are even building special cells to house them. And it's all there in the contract while they tell us that we should be happy because they saved us from having maximum security inmates. And of course there are the lies about crime in Lake Forest when they brag about being "one of the safest in the U.S." when we are not even one of the safest among the 10 neighboring cities down here. All we can do is expose the lies. There is no law against lying.
JustUs February 01, 2013 at 11:41 PM
".....but I don't have access to the actual OCSD data so I can't say for sure." And why would that data be inaccessible to the public? There's nothing top secret about it. In fact, it would be extremely valuable for citizens to know WHERE most of the crime takes place. It actually takes energy to hide information, Jim. And the fact that it's hidden tells us that it's deliberate. Why do you think you can't get ahold of that information? For example, Jim....I looked at the most recent LF crime blotter. Of the calls that reflected criminal activity or suspicious criminal activity these were the locations: West of Jeronimo ______________ Cavanaugh Rd. 23800 El Toro 24500 Overlake Dr. 23400 Dune Mear 24300 Grass St. 22300 Ridge Route Jeronimo and El Toro 24200 Rockfield 23100 Ridge Route Lake Forest and Rockfield El Toro and Muirlands East of Jeronimo _____________ 26500 Normandale Naturally, this is not a scientific study. But if you read the crime blotter you know it is TYPICAL!!! 11 calls WEST of Jeronimo. 1 call EAST of Jeronimo. Sooner or later we must face reality and ask ourselves "WHY?"!!!!
JustUs February 01, 2013 at 11:50 PM
"There is no law against lying. Well, there is....under certain circumstances. But when politicians and those who are sworn to protect the public trust lie for sport it's just an indication of how rotted the head of the fish truly is. These so-called leaders might think they're slick or clever - but their kids and grandkids are going to have to exist within the moral sewer that they have a hand in creating. So they are harming their own flesh and blood. Knowing this, I have no idea how they look themselves in the mirror in the morning. I really don't.
JustUs February 02, 2013 at 04:22 AM
Raoul, who opened the barn and let you into the room? You probably haven't had an original idea since you squirted out from between you momma's thighs so people sharing comments and ideas on a comment board would undoubtedly appear strange and freaky to you. heh. Why don't you traipse on all four out of the room and over to the barnyard board where you might feel more in your element? heh. Besides, you're stinking the place up. :^)
Jim Gardner February 02, 2013 at 11:44 AM
FWIW I was asked about the percent of the city's budget spent on public safety in Irvine, since they have a lower crime rate but more than 3 times as many people. I decided to look at Mission Viejo as well, which has 20% more people and also has a lower crime rate than Lake Forest. Irvine - 41% (own Police Dept) Lake Forest - 37% (OCSD) Mission Viejo - 20% (OCSD) Irvine spends slightly more of their budget on public safety which is understandable since they must cover their entire Police Department (forensics, helicopters, SWAT, etc) while we contract with OCSD which means a lot of our overhead is absorbed together with the other OCSD cities. In theory, contracting should result in significantly lower costs. The big surprise is the MV figure. They appear to be spending a lot less on Police services but doing a better job. They have a lower crime rate and the clearance rate is about the same. Imagine that? Spending less and getting better results. What's the secret Mission Viejo?
JustUs February 02, 2013 at 04:53 PM
Jim, mind telling me where you got those figures? Both were head scratchers for me. First off, some cities that finance their own PD's spend upwards of 70% of their budgets on public safety. And those are the cities that are in trouble financially. I can't think of one that spends less than 50%. So when you said Irvine spends just 41% I was shocked. I wonder how they control their costs? They have the same labor costs as the others (big salaries, OT, 3%@50 pensions, early retirements, etc..). Irvine is a rich city. I wonder what the dollar amount of their budget is compared to other cities the same size or per capita? Any idea? Maybe that's the reason. But 41% on it's face seems to be a bargain. Santa Ana has nearly bankrupted itself with public safety costs and shoddy management of their public treasure. That's why recently they disbanded their own fire department and now contract with OCFA. But I wonder how much SA spends on SAPD? I bet it's enormous. But was really shocked me was MV's 20% of budget expenditure on OCSD. 17% difference with LF. But naturally their budget is probably much larger than LF's. It should be since they have a higher population count by 20%. But broken down, per capita, I wonder how LF and MV compare? I assume that the labor costs, per cop, are similar since OCSD provides police services to both. This is where the data becomes all important to figure out what's going on. But OCSD hides the data from the citizens who finance their operations
Jim Gardner February 02, 2013 at 05:11 PM
i got the numbers from their websites
JustUs February 02, 2013 at 07:46 PM
Following Bell, Ca. the state and the cities became a little more transparent with labor and pensions costs on the local level. The State Controller has some nice data on the counties and the cities at his website. It's a shame that it took such a horrendous scandal of corruption and financial fraud for government to become a little more transparent. And some of the data is still very cloudy, as it does not provide information relative to FULL public employee compensation. I am not asking for names. I don't care who they are. I want to know how much we pay them in total (FULL COMPENSATION) for a year's worth of work. I don't want a salary range. That tells me nothing of value. I don't think that's asking too much at all. If they paid my salary I would gladly turn my data over to them for examination. There's nothing worse than government secrets. It causes tremendous damage to the public trust and allows problems to fester for years without being addressed. And naturally the latter consequence is fully intentional. It has to be. And I am not talking about CIA secrets on counterespinage activities. I undertand the purpose of those secrests. I mean common financial measurements and accounting data that shoudl be available to all in this high-tech age. They operate based on the philosophy of: "What they don't know won't hurt them", which, of course, is totally false. They behave like rulers as opposed to representatives paid with public dollars.
JustUs February 02, 2013 at 09:24 PM
Here, I told before what the problem is: LABOR COSTS! Example. Deputy 1 is the lowest rung on the OCSD totem pole. The lowest of the low. These are mostly young people - many of whom probably don't even have college degrees. BRAND NEW EMPLOYEES. Are you sitting down? Look at their salaries, premium pay and overtime. Base salary is about $80,000. (And this was in 2009!!!) How many college grads walk into a job paying $80,000 in BASE SALARY?? It's a complete farce. And this spreadsheet doesn't even include annual PENSION AND MEDICAL costs. Go ahead and factor those in for yourself. For a Deputy 1 those are good for at least another $70,000. Minimum. This is the problem. Nobody in charge wants to admit it let alone discuss it. This is why cities and counties in California are going bankrupt! And all the leaders are asleep at the wheel. They don't care because most of them collect public union payoffs in one way or another. Here, all of you who are not connected into this royal give-a-way system, read it and weep!: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/pay-214126-salaries-sheriff.html?data=1&appSession=96533619214367#article-data
JustUs February 02, 2013 at 10:02 PM
Oh, btw, the data in that spreadsheet for for 2007! FIVE years ago! Imagine what it would be TODAY! But they will HIDE IT until they are forced by the courts to give it up! But YOU still have to pay it, regardless of whether they hide it or not!

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Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
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