Violent Crime In LA is Down. Again. The Police Chief Says It's 'One of the Safest Times In Los Angeles.'

(Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Violent crime in the city of Los Angeles has declined for the second year in a row, continuing long-term downward trends, city leaders said Monday.

"These are better crime statistics than we've seen in decades," said Mayor Eric Garcetti. "I said that for the first time last year, but it's true again this year."

MURDER, SHOOTINGS AND PROPERTY CRIME ARE DOWN

There were 253 murders in 2019, making it the 10th year in a row the city had fewer than 300 homicides. The homicide rate was the lowest since 1962.

L.A. saw 65 fewer shooting victims last year — 945 — that's the lowest number in 21 years, officials said. Property crime also declined by 7.4 percent in 2019.

Today is "one of the safest times in Los Angeles," said LAPD Chief Michel Moore.

Officials attributed the decline in crimes to a variety of strategies, including gang intervention, community outreach efforts and more hours of patrols.

Moore said the department has continued to invest in resources to train officers on de-escalation techniques.

There were 26 officer shootings in 2019, down from 33 in 2018 and 44 in 2017, the chief said.

"In our recorded history ... [it's] the lowest number of officer-involved shootings in our history," Moore said.

There was one sour note: There was an increase in fatal hit-and-runs especially in South L.A. Citywide, 62 people were killed in hit-and-run incidents, compared with 56 in 2018. The chief attributed the increase to distracted driving, texting and driving under the influence.

"Hit-and-run fatals in the city of Los Angeles is a troubling challenge for us," he said.

RANDOM BODY CAM AUDITS

Moore said the LAPD will expand the monitoring of body cam footage.

He said the department captures more than 14,000 videos a day from bodycam footage, he said, adding that starting this month, supervisors in each of the department's gang units will select certain videos to audit every month.

"What I think every Angeleno has the right to expect is that when a police officer has contact with them, that they're treated with dignity and with respect, and a courtesy that should be common amongst all of us," Moore said.

The department recently changed its procedures to require a lieutenant to review body cam video when an officer adds someone to the gang database. That move followed revelations that the LAPD is investigating at least 20 officers for altering information gathered at traffic stops to falsely identify individuals as gang members.