- Thursday December 9th, 2010 :: 11:09 a.m. PST
The Antelope Valley Crime Fighting Initiative recognized as Webber Seavey Award Semi-finalist
The International Association of Chiefs of Police recently honored the "Antelope Valley Crime Fighting Initiative" as a top 25 semi-finalist from around the globe in the competition for the coveted IACP/Motorola Webber Seavey Award for Quality in Law Enforcement. The semi-finalist were recognized at the IACP Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.
Each year, law enforcement agencies worldwide compete for the Webber Seavey Award by implementing innovative law enforcement projects within their agencies and communities. The Webber Seavey Award recognizes tried and true solutions to a variety of problems that law enforcement officers face daily on the ground. More than just simply recognizing the winners, the award helps promote and share these approaches with the entire law enforcement community. These innovative programs serve as a blueprint to help others develop and strengthen their agencies to make their communities safer. The goal of this award is to foster awareness of quality in law enforcement, recognize quality achievement in police projects and promote sharing of information on successful programs.
The Webber Seavey Award bears significance that extends far beyond the prestige of winning. The program is designed to bring team members within law enforcement agencies together in an interactive problem-solving process. Winning projects help promote the exchange of ideas and sharing of information throughout the entire law enforcement community. These projects also focus on the achievement of continual improvement of services to the community, strengthening of police relations and promotion of community participation.
In March of 2007, the Antelope Valley Crime Fighting Initiative (AVCFI) was established in order to help the communities within the Antelope Valley reduce crime and gang violence. Sheriff Baca and local officials committed additional personnel for the Antelope Valley to assist the local sheriff’s stations and communities, with the overall goal to reduce the Valley’s crime rate to below 300. The AVCFI would use these additional resources to partner the local stations with their communities to develop crime prevention strategies, provide local intervention resources, and coordinate suppression efforts.
Over the past four years, the resources have been strategically used to implement ongoing strategies such as:
Community Deputies- CORE & ZONE who partner with each city’s Neighborhood Watch Programs, generating great community involvement, prior to the C.O.R.E. program, there were 75 active Neighborhood Watch groups within the two cities, today, there are over 500!
Party cars- Which have contributed to a 74% reduction in the number of victims associated with gun-related gang violence and a 40% reduction in gang-related homicides.
Ceasefire Operations- The strategy involves contacting each member of the selected gang and issuing them a notification letter advising him/her that any future gang related activity could result in serious consequences and carry significant gang enhancements.
Burglary Suppression Teams- Who since their inception have played a key role in a 13% valley-wide reduction of burglaries.
Since the AVCFI has been in place the Crime Rate throughout the Antelope Valley has plummeted from 390 crimes per 10,000 people (in 2006) to 284 crimes per 10,000 people by the end of 2009. This accomplishment was historical because it also marked the first time that both stations recorded crime rates under 300!
The efforts of the AVCFI were also recognized earlier in the year as the Recipient of the "James Q. Wilson Award for Excellence in Community Policing." The crime rate is on target to decline even further by the end of 2010, to a record low of 270.
AVCFI Coordinator, Lieutenant Robert Jonsen stated -"The successes we have experienced throughout the Antelope Valley in decreasing crime and dramatically reducing gang violence are a direct result of the tremendous collaboration between the local law enforcement agencies, county representatives, city representatives, and most importantly the community of Antelope Valley. As the famous quote goes, 'The police are the public and the public are the police,' we hope the public continues policing with us, especially during this special time of year, so that everyone can enjoy a safe and happy holiday season."
Palmdale Station Captain, Bobby Denham commented, “The honor of being a semi-finalist for this award is something we share with everyone of the Antelope Valley. In 2007 when we started this journey to reduce the Antelope Valley’s crime rate, we knew that in order to achieve our goal we would need the support of not only all of the AV’s public safety organizations, but the community itself. I think with our recent success you can say that has been achieved, however we are nowhere near done and plan on only putting more pressure on those criminals that wish to disrupt our quality of life here in the Antelope Valley. “
Lancaster Station Commander, Captain Axel H. Anderson stated – “It is a true honor to have been selected as a semi-finalist for this prestigious award. The AVCFI has been one of the most successful crime fighting efforts we have had here in the Antelope Valley. We have come a long way in reducing our crime rate however, we are not finished. Lancaster Station will continue to work closely with our residents, as well as all of the agencies involved and I feel confident that we can lower our crime rate even further”
LASD - Palmdale Station, Los Angeles County Sheriff
750 East Avenue Q
Palmdale, CA 93550