Decrease in Violent Crimes

04/22/2022 - Public Safety Director Tim Mattos: Decrease in Violent Crimes
Posted on 04/22/2022

The City of Rohnert Park's top priority is preserving the health and safety of our residents. Thankfully, crime remains low compared to long-term rates. While overall crime increased slightly in 2021 (up 2%), we saw decreases in several key areas, including a 15% decrease in violent crimes.

However, we have room for improvement, as we saw increases in several of the most serious crimes. This includes increases in homicide (one in 2020 vs two in 2021), rape, auto theft, burglary, and larceny. The good news is, we also saw significant progress in some important categories. Robberies decreased by 61% and aggravated assault decreased by 17%. As a City, we are never pleased with an increase in crime. However, this data appears to mirror the trends of other cities across the state.

The City also tracks less serious crimes, which were down 6% overall in 2021. We saw a large reduction in drug offenses (down 29%), and modest decreases in fraud (down 3%) and weapons offenses (down 4%). Vandalism increased 9%, and DUIs increased 43% due in large part to proactive enforcement leading to the arrest of more drunk drivers.

To continue progress and keep our community safe, we welcomed nine talented and diverse new Public Safety Officers to fill vacancies in 2021. 

In Rohnert Park, we pride ourselves on community-oriented policing. Our officers are active participants in the community and meet regularly with residents. Last year we hosted ten in-person community meetings, engaged in many virtual meetings, and presented to four community groups to gather feedback to improve our policing. 

Additionally, the City Council approved several key initiatives in 2021. The initiatives include retaining an independent police auditor, adopting a Public Safety presentation calendar, and creating a Community Public Safety Roundtable. We also added the SAFE (Specialized Assistance for Everyone) Team. The SAFE Team provides crisis intervention, medical and mental health services, and assistance to those experiencing homelessness. The City expanded employee training on de-escalation and explicit and implicit bias as well.

The City will begin accepting applications to join the Community Public Safety Roundtable in the coming weeks. The Roundtable will provide an avenue for a diverse cross-section of the community to get involved and provide feedback to Public Safety, as part of our continuing efforts to build trust and improve services.

The amount of crime in a community reflects many factors. Residents play an important role in public safety. Reports and tips of suspicious people are tremendously helpful in securing our city. Remembering to keep doors and windows locked, and not leaving valuables in vehicles, are other precautions that help to prevent crime.

Residents can also help by participating in our On Watch video surveillance program. We are compiling a list of locations with surveillance video that may capture crimes. Many Rohnert Park residents and businesses have security cameras that have helped us investigate crimes and other incidents. If you would like to take part, please email [email protected]