Despite a reported increase in homicide rates in Pomona, La Verne, Claremont and Montclair continue to be some of the safest cities to live in.
Since 2010, the city of La Verne has reported no homicides along with the city of Claremont. Montclair has reported two homicides since 2010, according to City-Data.com, a website that collects and analyzes data to create profiles for U.S. cities.
The La Verne Police Department’s reasons behind the low crime rates include constant patrolling of the area.
“We are a proactive police department,” Police Services Technician Jim Crook said.
He explained that they have more time to patrol the area with a smaller city, and 40 sworn in police officers, 18 reserve police officers and 30 retired senior volunteers.
Crook said they like to make themselves visible so people with bad intentions see them and go elsewhere.
“Crimes usually go up when the economy goes down,” Crook said.
Even with low crime rates in La Verne, the city of Pomona continues to see an increase in homicides. The death of a 23-year-old man marked the 20th death for the year causing Pomona’s homicide rates to increase, according to the Pomona Police Department.
Eleven homicides were reported in 2011, 17 were reported in 2012, and have now increased to 20 so far this year. According to the Pomona Police Department, the causes for the increase include drugs and gang activity.
For 2011 violent crime rates in Pomona were higher than the U.S. per capita average for individual cities, and violent crime rates in La Verne, Claremont and Montclair were lower than the U.S. average, according to City-Data.com.
Crook said the La Verne Police Department takes all calls seriously and responds quickly.
Capt. Robert Avels from the Montclair Police Department said calls regarding crime have been decreasing during the last eight years.
“Montclair is a safe city, but there is always going to be some aspect of crime no matter where you are,” Avels said.
“People don’t think crimes occur in their area because they don’t work in a field that is law enforcement related,” he said.
The Montclair Police Department’s goal is to get rid of fear, he said.
Esperanza Ramirez, who commutes weekly to La Verne from Pomona, said La Verne is safer.
“You don’t hear about deaths in La Verne, but you do in Pomona,” Ramirez said.
She travels to La Verne to work at one of the local restaurants.
Although Pomona’s neighboring cities are smaller, Avels and Crook work on a lot of prevention.
Crook said the police depart page and a blackboard site people can visit to receive updates and alerts regarding major news.
The Montclair Police Department recently added a community relations division where they will work on putting out press releases to alert the area of crime and police activity.
They meet with senior groups and suggest people sign up for Nixle.com – a website that sends alerts via text message and email.
Both departments agree that the key to lower crime rates is prevention in any city, and that educating the community is key to keeping residents safe.
Alejandra Aguilar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.