La Cañada Flintridge has seen a 17% reduction in crime over the past five years and experienced about a 9% drop in 2013, according to a report presented to the City Council at its regular meeting last week.

Among the highlights of the report was a 26.71% reduction in residential burglaries last year, which Capt. Bill Song, commander of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station, attributed to beefed-up patrols and old-fashioned detective work.

"Our deputies have been doing a great job out there being visible and proactive," Song said. "If they observe anything suspicious they report it. Our detectives have been great too, solving crimes in a timely manner. We've had numerous arrests of suspects who are in the area to commit a crime and are about to go through with it. It's about sending a message to the criminals, that we are here, and we are looking for you."

Song voiced appreciation to the City Council for approving last June a budget that allowed for more overtime for deputies. "This has allowed us to supplement the officers in the field — on patrol and doing investigative work, which directly resulted in crime reduction here," he said.

Although burglaries were down, there was an uptick in larceny, with the sheriff's department reporting 195 La Cañada Flintridge incidents in 2013, up 16 from the year before.

There were two cases of arson reported last year, three robberies and seven aggravated assaults. There were no homicides or forcible rapes in the city in 2013, according to the report.

"It's obviously a very positive report," said Councilman Dave Spence. "I give a lot of credit to our city manager, who went on the attack with the help of the sheriff's department in requesting reinforcement. He increased surveillance and increased the presence of deputies around town…I also give a lot of credit to Capt. Bill Song to implement the procedures that the previous captain started, and added additional support and procedures that were above and beyond what was originally intended."

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MICHAEL BRUER is a freelance writer. He can be reached at michaelbruer7@gmail.com.

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