Walnut Creek Police Say Crime is Down 18 Percent

At the March 19 Walnut Creek City Council meeting, the Walnut Creek Police Department says overall crime decreased by 18% from 2022 to 2023.

Police Chief Jamie Dixon said in looking at 10-year crime data, 2023 was their lowest year of crimes they have had noting 2023 was 18% lower than the average crime rate over the past 10-years.  He added that so far in 2024, crime rates continue to trend lower.

He added later in the presentation that a couple of news outlets, referring to them in the part of the county as “scanner hounds” for the perception that crime is up.

Police Department Staffing

  • Allocated for 85 sworn officers, they are currently sitting with 78 with 7 vacancies.
  • Allocated for 43 professional staff, they are at 38.5 with 4.5 vacancies.
  • Allocated for total of 128 positions and staffed with 116.5 and currently at a 9% vacancy rate.

According to Ryan Hibbs, Operations Captain, who shared Walnut Creek Police have 36 officers deployed over 6 patrol teams.

Response times (all calls for service)

  • 2023 – 4:54 minutes
  • 2022 – 4:42 minutes
  • 2021 – 5:04 minutes
  • 2020 – 5:02 minutes
  • 2019 – 5:06 minutes

Hibbs says the goal is to remain under 5-minute response times while 2019 was historical high which was due to it being its highest crime year.

Crime Overview

2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Violent Crime 120 89 114 167 197
Property Crime 2494 2079 2303 2188 1725

Note – the police department did not provide any breakdown in their crime data during the presentation nor did the council ask any questions related to crime.

Crime Rate per 1,000

  • 2023 – 27.8
  • 2022 – 33.7
  • 2021 – 33.9
  • 2020 – 30.7
  • 2019 – 36.94

He also says 95% of Walnut Creek crime is property crime over the past 5-years.

“Property crime are typically crimes of opportunity, vehicle burglaries, thefts, retail thefts. The idea here is to make sure you are not a victim of a crime. Having awareness of surroundings and making sure you don’t have valuables in your car or lock your car type of thing,” said Hibbs.

He says overall, data shows overall crime has decreased from 2022 to 2023.

Councilmember Matt Francois questioned the perception of crime noting the data showing its going in a positive direction, but the perception out there is crime is up. He asked what accounted for that.

Chief Jamie Knox was quick to point to social media and a few “scanner hounds” posting incidents.

“How does everybody get their news today? Are you watching the news or are you on social media. A majority of people, I don’t care who you are, if you have a phone and you have any apps, some news outlets have their own apps, you don’t have to go to Facebook or Instagram to get your news stories. Before you had to watch the news, now it’s everywhere, so when you see something, you think that is the norm,” said Knox. “Think about how many times a plane lands successfully in this country and you never really hear about that, you only hear when the door falls off. Now that is a big deal, we want to hear about that. The truth is this is a very safe community. Our crime numbers are on the lower end of the spectrum.”

He admitted they are not without crime but when it happens it’s a big deal.

“But because of the nature of social media and there is a couple of local news outlets who are kind of scanner hounds and follow us to calls and they will post stuff and that becomes the norm for people because that is what they see. There is a little bit of a disconnect there but the numbers do not lie.”

Councilmember Kevin Wilk made it clear Walnut Creek has not done any of the ‘defunding of the police” and they have 85 positions because of the budget the council had approved.

PART 1 Crime data

  2021 2022 2023
Assault (agg) 64 64 113
Burglary 908 809 n/a due to crime categories changing
MURDER 4 n/a 1
NEGLIGENT MANSLAUGHTER n/a n/a 1
Robbery 41 47 47
Vehicle Theft 230 198 154

A look at the Crime data from 2023 (per the website)

2023 Group A Offenses  TOTAL
MURDER AND NONNEGLIGENT MANSLAUGHTER 1
NEGLIGENT MANSLAUGHTER 1
JUSTIFIABLE HOMICIDE  0
KIDNAPING ABDUCTION  13
RAPE  6
SODOMY  3
SEXUAL ASSAULT WITH AN OBJECT  2
FONDLING  18
ROBBERY  47
AGGRAVATED ASSAULT  113
SIMPLE ASSAULT  318
INTIMIDATION 71
ARSON 2
EXTORTION / BLACKMAIL 3
BURGLARY / BREAKING & ENTERING 257
POCKET-PICKING  19
PURSE SNATCHING 7
SHOPLIFTING 478
THEFT FROM BUILDING 105
THEFT FROM COIN-OPERATED MACHINE OR DEVICE 0
THEFT FROM MOTOR VEHICLE 326
THEFT OF MOTOR VEHICLE PARTS OR ACCESSORIES 125
ALL OTHER LARCENY 385
MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT 154
COUNTERFEITING / FORGERY  64
FALSE PRETENSES / SWINDLE / CONFIDENCE GAME  131
CREDIT CARD / AUTOMATIC TELLER MACHINE FRAUD  51
IMPERSONATION 26
WELFARE FRAUD 0
WIRE FRAUD  4
IDENTITY THEFT  98
HACKING / COMPUTER INVASION 0
EMBEZZLEMENT 33
STOLEN PROPERTY OFFENSES 48
DESTRUCTION / DAMAGE / VANDALISM OF PROPERTY 305
DRUG / NARCOTIC VIOLATIONS 103
DRUG EQUIPMENT VIOLATIONS 54
INCEST  0
STATUTORY RAPE  1
PORNOGRAPHY / OBSCENE MATERIAL  5
BETTING / WAGERING  0
OPERATING / PROMOTING / ASSISTING GAMBLING  0
GAMBLING EQUIPMENT VIOLATIONS  0
SPORTS TAMPERING  0
PROSTITUTION  0
ASSISTING OR PROMOTING PROSTITUTION  0
PURCHASING PROSTITUTIONS  0
BRIBERY  0
WEAPON LAW VIOLATIONS  58
HUMAN TRAFFICKING, COMMERCIAL SEX ACTS 0
HUMAN TRAFFICKING, INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE  0
ANIMAL CRUELTY 2
2023 group b offenses  Total
BAD CHECKS 0
CURFEW / LOITERING / VAGRANCY VIOLATIONS  10
DISORDERLY CONDUCT  223
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE 72
DRUNKENNESS  0
FAMILY OFFENSES, NONVIOLENT  0
LIQUOR LAW VIOLATIONS  1
PEEPING TOM  0
TRESPASS OF REAL PROPERTY  107
OTHER OFFENSES  607

2013-2022

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5 comments

stove April 2, 2024 - 11:36 am
Only crime reporting is down as they discourage reporting crime now. Crime actually is on the 25% up slope as we speak.
Street Sweeper April 2, 2024 - 3:03 pm
Antioch crime up 18% to balance it. All good yo.
D April 2, 2024 - 3:52 pm
Where are people supposed to be getting their news when mainstream media is not reporting and police agencies are not reporting? Thank you CC news for reporting!!!!
Reporting is down; not crime. April 2, 2024 - 7:46 pm
Exactly!! chief is manipulating the truth.
L. Truscott April 4, 2024 - 6:50 pm
Let me put this in simple terms. Crime stats are based on crimes reported. In this county, how many fewer crimes are people reporting because they know nothing will happen? It is certainly greater than 18%. Get real.

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