There are two classes of crimes (called Part 1 and Part 2 crimes) defined by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (“FBI”). Part 1 crimes are the most serious, and include homicide, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault along with burglary (breaking into a residence), larceny (theft) and motor vehicle theft.
Part 1 crimes in Rohnert Park had an overall downward trend since 1994, reaching a low in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, the City experienced an increase, to the level 10 years ago and before.
The Part 1 crimes declined in 2016 with a total of 947 compared to 1235 in 2015. Overall, the Part I crime decreased by 23% and Part II crime decreased by 10%. The decrease in both the Part I and Part II crime categories is a result of the dedicated sworn and professional staff of Rohnert Park Public Safety, the leadership of Rohnert Park and the community working together.
The below graph shows the Part I yearly crime trend.
The 2015 increase in Part 1 crimes was experienced throughout California. The California Police Chiefs’ Association believes that these increases are due primarily to two changes in state law, AB 109 and Proposition 47. AB 109, also known as Governor Brown’s prison realignment, reduced overcrowding in our State prison system by releasing 40,000 prisoners early. Most of these 40,000 inmates were convicted of non-violent offenses, or what we would call property crimes. Many of these former State prison inmates are in County Jail where they take up cell space that formerly housed lower level prisoners who are now on the streets committing additional crimes.
Proposition 47 was approved by the voters of California in November, 2014. It reduced many crimes previously considered felonies to misdemeanors, such as drug possession. Prior to Proposition 47, people arrested for felony drug possession were often held in the County Jail pending trial. Some of them were eligible for drug court diversion and allowed to participate in treatment and other programs to help break their drug habits. Today, these offenders arrested for misdemeanor drug possession are not held in the County Jail. Instead, they are released back onto the streets until their case is resolved.
The California Police Chiefs’ Association strongly believes that Proposition 47 reduced the incarceration for felony and theft crimes, thereby increasing property crime rates in 2015.
In response, the Rohnert Park City Council approved a Community Oriented Problem Solving (COPS) Unit, which started operations in 2016. The COPS unit is focused on probationers and parolees, drugs, gangs, prostitution, and other crimes. Additionally, the City has added Public Safety Officer positions in patrol, as well as a Crime Analyst to help allocate police most effectively.
Below is a breakdown of the Part I crimes in Rohnert Park for 2011-2016.
Part II crimes, which include embezzlement, fraud, stolen property, forgery/counterfeiting, vandalism, and driving under the influence (DUI) are provided below for 2011-2016.