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San Fernando
Monday, Jun 5, 2023

Let’s Shed Negative Views of City of San Fernando

Through the years, the City of San Fernando has been viewed by people from outside the City as a gang and crime infested area. Although the community, City government, and the Police Department have worked diligently to shed the City’s old image, the whispers still persist. Armed with Part 1 Major Crime Offense statistics, the San Fernando Police Department is attempting to correct the misperceptions about crime in our City. In 1996, the United States Census reported 22,580 residents in San Fernando. Today there are approximately 28,000 residents in San Fernando. Even though the population and density of San Fernando has increased, the crime rate has continued to drop almost every year since 1996. Major crime is down significantly almost 450 crimes (annually) when compared to 1996 numbers. The percentage of reduction in major offenses from 1996 through 2006 is 33.8%. While crime numbers for the Seven Major Offenses (homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny and auto theft) have increased nationally, San Fernando’s Seven Major Offense Crimes still continue to decrease. Although the San Fernando Police Department cannot guarantee a continuous drop in serious crime, we will continue to work with our residents and urge them to report crime when it is occurring. The San Fernando Police Department is known for its rapid response to serious crime and emergency calls. San Fernando Police Department has a two and a half minute response time, one of the fastest in the State of California. My Command Staff and I frequently respond to serious crimes in progress in order to supplement the small patrol force in the field. With a 37-member staff of Police Officers, Detectives, Supervisors, and Command Officers distributed throughout the work week everyone is seen as a Patrol Division asset when the need arises. The San Fernando Police Department has a 30 member Police Reserve Officer Division. The Reserve Division provides valuable additional resources during major incidents such as a natural disaster or any other major incident in San Fernando. It is no coincidence that the San Fernando Police Department has a large and productive Reserve Division. In San Fernando there has never been a visible distinction between regular and reserve Police Officers. They all wear a Police Officer badge and uniform and perform virtually the same duties. San Fernando Police Officers and Dispatchers do not require the public to give their names or addresses when reporting a crime in progress. We would rather have information about a crime in progress and have the opportunity to arrest the offender rather than require people reporting crime to identify themselves first. Many times people end up coming forward anyway once they see their Police Department responding quickly and producing results. Much of San Fernando’s negative image is unfairly acquired due to media reports of criminal trials and convictions at the Los Angeles County Court building in San Fernando. Most of the criminal trials and activity in this court building are for crimes that occurred in the City or County of Los Angeles. In San Fernando, where many residents tell the Police that they choose to live there because of the quick response time and efficiency of the Police Department, this winning partnership continues to result in crime reduction. You can actually feel the pride in the members of the San Fernando Police Department (both sworn and civilian) when they talk about their Department’s commitment to the community. It is my hope that by telling our story and showing San Fernando’s continuing reduction in crime over the past decade, the City of San Fernando will finally free itself of the old and negative image. Just come and see San Fernando for yourself and you will appreciate the small town atmosphere and a Police Department that is working with the community everyday to reduce the fear of crime and improve quality of life. Anthony Alba is the chief of police for the city of San Fernando.

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