Community Policing Cited In San Diego’s Low Murder Rate Among Big Cities


For the fourth year running, San Diego had the lowest murder rate among the nation's ten largest cities, reports U-T San Diego. The police department investigated 32 homicides, down from 39, giving San Diego, the eighth largest city in the U.S., a murder rate of 2.4 killings per 100,000 residents. Phoenix, which has a slightly larger population than San Diego, had a murder rate of 7.7 per 100,000, while San Antonio, another city of similar size, had a rate of 7.3. Philadelphia had the highest rate of the nation's ten top cities, with 16 killings for every 100,000 residents.

No factor gets more credit than community policing. San Diego police homicide Lt. Paul Rorrison said it is contributor No. 1 to the city's low count. “It's directly related to the fact that homicides are down so low,” he said. “… It's been huge.” Community policing hinges on departments forging close relationships with the communities they serve. It took hold in San Diego in the early ’90s, around the time homicides across the nation started to decline. Rorrison emphasized combating all crime — including homicides — is a community affair. “When murders happen, people don't lock their doors and stay inside,” he said. “They don't tolerate it, which is a great thing. People are… letting the criminal element know it's unacceptable in their neighborhoods.”

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