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Laguna’s Crime Rates Fall

Violent crime in Laguna Beach declined 21 percent last year, while arrests for public intoxication and drunk driving rose 36.9 and 28.7 percent respectively, according to the police department’s annual report released this week.

Eliminating the threat to public safety by drinking drivers remains a priority of the police department, said Chief Paul Workman in a statement. “Officers are encouraged to maintain a high enforcement profile for this particular crime,” he said.

Officers collared 277 people for public drunkenness last year, but 623 were cited for getting behind the wheel after imbibing, the report said. Stepped up arrests can be attributed to grants from the state Office of Traffic Safety, the department’s statement said.

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that traffic collisions also declined, falling 15.7 percent in 2012. Weapons and narcotics crimes also made double digit dips last year, the report said.

In total, the city experienced 56 crimes categorized by the FBI as  violent crimes, which include homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assaults, a decline from the cumulative five-year average.

Just over 40,000 vehicles received citations last year, a 4 percent decline, generating $1.4 million in revenue for the city treasury, the report says. Revenue fell 2.8 percent.

The department’s average response time to the 2,532 emergency calls to dispatchers was 4.32 minutes, while the non-emergency response time of officers was 5.05 minutes, the report says. The department fielded nearly 23,000 calls.

Animal services data shows a decline in enforcement, but an increase in licensing and pet adoption, the report says.

The annual reports for 2007-2012 can be found on the Police Department’s website at

www.lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/police/default.asp

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