accurate portrayal of reality.
Fortunately, as we reported at the top of the front page Jan. 23, reality
is quite the opposite. Crime in Glendale has been dropping, as it has
been throughout the state and nation.
According to the Glendale Police Department, the crime rate dropped by
6.3% during the first 11 months of 1999 compared to the previous year.
This is an encouraging sign, an antidote to the daily diet of mayhem. It
deserves to be noted and emphasized.
Violent and property crimes in Glendale dropped significantly, which
contributed heavily to the overall decrease.
There were 4,677 major crimes reported in Glendale between January and
November 1999. That compares to 4,989 for the same period in 1998,
according to police.
Another report on crime, released the same day by the state attorney
generals office, showed that Glendale's crime rate for the first seven
months of 1999 had dropped by 6.9%. Statewide, crime was down 11.2%
during this period.
In Glendale, violent crime fell 10.6% from 537 cases in 1998 to 480 in
1999. The biggest drop was robberies that fell 15% from 185 to 157.
Property crimes fell 5.7% between the two periods. Vehicle thefts were
the biggest reason, dropping 15% from 815 to 690.
However, the most violent crimes, homicides, arson and rape increased.
Homicides went from two in 1998 to three in 1999. Arsons went up from 41
to 43. Rapes nearly doubled. Since these are the most high-profile
crimes, they are also the ones that make the most news.
Arguably, one of the main causes of the continuing improvement in the
crime rate especially property crimes is the booming economy. With
unemployment the lowest it's been in a generation, it is not difficult to
understand why fewer people feel the hopelessness that so often spawns
Despite Glendale's overall crime drop, however, it doesn't match up with
neighboring cities over the first seven months of 1999. Burbank's crime
rate dropped 9.8% while Pasadena's fell 13.7%.
While there's clearly still room for improvement, the latest crime
reports are encouraging. Keep them in mind next time you tune in to the
if-it-bleeds-it-leads local evening news broadcast.