The crime rate in San Diego has dropped to its lowest point in nearly half a century, announced the police department on Monday.
At the city council meeting, the San Diego Police Command Staff shared newly released crime data. The downward trend in crime has continued despite San Diego's population roughly doubling in that time frame.
“Overall, crime in San Diego has decreased by 7.3 percent this past year, the lowest point in nearly half a century," San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said.
The police department stated that violent crimes decreased by about 2 percent in 2017. Other crimes that went down include homicides, rape cases and home robberies. Aggravated assault decreased by about 3 percent, and property crime decreased by about 8.3 percent compared to last year.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer attributed San Diego's standing as one of the safest big cities in the country to law enforcement and praised the police department.
“I want to thank every single officer who puts on the badge and uniform every day. They are the number one reason for these great statistics," Faulconer said.
San Diego has kept the lowest homicide rate out of 10 of the largest cities nationwide for the past four years, Zimmerman explained.
“We are proud of our joint commitment to keeping San Diego one of the safest big cities in our entire country," she added.
The newly selected Police Chief David Nisleit was also present at the meeting. Zimmerman is set to leave her position and retire in March.
Nisleit said he plans to focus on crime prevention and community relations as the new chief.
“I would much rather prevent crime than respond to it and have to apprehend folks," said Nisleit.