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Our View: We all make the valley a safer place

Posted: September 16, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 16, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Safety is high on just about everyone’s list of priorities when looking for a place to live and raise a family, so the recent Sheriff’s Department report stating that crime has dropped 15 percent in the last year, and more than 30 percent over five years, makes the valley even more desirable.

Excluding the statistical outlier of a recent double-murder/suicide in Valencia last month, all other violent crimes reported were down substantially compared with numbers from this time last year.

For crimes overall, the department’s latest statistics show crime in Santa Clarita Valley is down by 15.8 percent in the last year — 34.3 percent compared with five years ago.

This is also a somewhat interesting report when one factors in the usual trend of property crimes increasing when the economy is down.

But property crimes are actually declining, despite the currently high unemployment rate and businesses struggling to rebound from the past three years.

For this, we can thank in part the strict enforcement of laws and regulations by the local Sheriff’s Department, which works day and night to make the valley a better, safer place to live for everyone.

And, since being helmed by Capt. Paul Becker, the department has streamlined and improved its reporting and enforcement process by dividing up the valley into sections, instead of looking at the 250,000-plus population as one mass.

It’s encouraging to see sheriff’s deputies cracking down on relatively minor infractions such as graffiti, because, it shows that if our law enforcement will go after these crimes, it will surely make life very hard for drug dealers and more hardened criminals.

But we hope that the crime statistics show much more than effective law enforcement. It shows that our community despite any economic challenges is functioning for the most part on a level where the majority of citizens respect each other and cherish the fact that we live in a community that is well-run, functional and nurturing.

We owe ourselves a pat on the back for daily vigilance in neighborhood-watch groups that keep an eye out for misdeeds in a hyperlocal environment, the We-Tip hotline to help aid police in pursuing criminals and overall community involvement.

Local law enforcement is only as good as the community behind it, and this one doesn’t take kindly to crime.


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