Chico crime rate sees big spike

Are more officers the answer?

Report shows Chico crime spike

CHICO, Calif. - The latest statistics released by the Chico Police Dept. show that crime increased dramatically from 2012 to 2013.

Violent crime like homicide, rape, robbery and assault spiked by 15.5 percent; non-violent crime like burglary and larceny was up 14.3 percent year-to-year.

Many Chicoans aren't surprised by the results.  "Chico is growing just like every other small town is growing," said Donna Pozar. "So I think it's to be expected."

Crime in downtown and especially near Chico State continued to record the highest amount of criminal activity in the city.  But alcohol-related crimes downtown remained the same.  The most pronounced increase was in auto thefts which jumped up 54 percent.

The report's author offered a few reasons for the jump including the affects of AB-109 which releases less violent prisoners. 

But the report also suggested that the city needs more officers. 

Chicoan Brandon Kindell agrees.  "It seems less and less that we're getting the money for our police department," said Kindell.

However, Chico Council Member Randall Stone points out that the total number of crimes is on par with what it was six years ago when he says the department was fully-staffed. 

Still Stone agrees with the other six council members that the city needs more officers.  The difficulty will be in paying for them as the city struggles with budget deficits.

"Where do you find money?" asked Stone. "It's sort of like saying, 'I don't have a house; I have no place to live.'  And if you don't have income you can't say, 'Gee, we need to get a house.' You must make the income; you must make the budget."

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