Performance Review 2017
Keeping Ukiah safe can be very challenging. Our officers work hard to reduce violent crimes and property crimes, and to improve the quality of life within our neighborhoods—and they do a great job, but that doesn’t stop them from looking for ways to do even better.
With issues as broad and complex as the ones we face, we need to stay focused on the areas that will have the biggest impact, so we developed a long-term strategic plan called Measuring What Matters Most. It clearly defines five goals for the effective delivery of police service, identifying the performance measures that affect both safety and quality of life in Ukiah. They are as follows:
• Reducing Crime and the Fear of Crime
• Improving the Quality of Life in Our Neighborhoods
• Enhancing Community and Police Partnerships
• Developing Personnel
• Continued Accountability
In 2017, I am happy to report that for our first goal, reducing crime, we saw an 18 percent decrease in property crimes and we saw no increase in our community’s violent crime rate. To provide a sense of how well our officers are performing, the Ukiah Police Department (UPD) solved 77 percent of violent crimes committed in our community, compared to the state average of 46 percent.
The second goal of our strategic plan is to improve the quality of life within our neighborhoods. During this last year we spent a significant amount of time in this area.
We began to merge the activities of our crime prevention specialist with our Special Enforcement Team to continue to reduce blight and address other quality-of-life issues. Our team worked with 317 businesses and community members to help them take steps to prevent crimes from occurring, and our team engaged in 544 active investigations.
Even with this great work, we know there is more to do.
Transients continue to cause significant problems in Ukiah. To help us in this area, UPD has begun working with the City Manager’s Office. Together, we’ve initiated an Innovation Team focused on collaborating with community partners to find alternative solutions to the long-term homelessness and transient problems we face. These issues account for more than 40 percent of our arrests, and significantly influence the number of calls for police services, which currently averages 81 per day.
This high workload has significantly reduced the amount of time our officers are available for proactive functions like traffic enforcement. As a result, the number of traffic accidents during the past year has remained higher than our ten-year average.
Violent crime also continues to be a significant concern in our community. The State of California has reduced state prison populations through a program called Realignment, a program that relocates state inmates to county jails or into local communities while on probation. The Department of Corrections estimates that more than 70 percent of those in prison are involved with violent activities, and it is these criminally sophisticated prisoners who are now being released into Ukiah and other small communities around the state.
To address these complex criminal issues, and a host of others, our department reviews its progress annually and develops a work plan for the coming year. This is really the core of our strategic planning process—reviewing what’s worked and what hasn’t, and developing a plan to address local crime trends for next year. One of the most important parts of this process is working collaboratively with you, our community members, to make Ukiah safe.
On May 3 at 5:00 PM we will present our 2017 performance report to the Ukiah City Council, and we invite you to attend. We will present our work in our goal areas, review last year’s progress, and present our plan for the coming year. If you can’t attend, you can find our report at www.ukiahpolice.com.
Despite the complex nature of police work, we like to remember that our mission remains simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have suggestions on how we can improve, please call me. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cell phone and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com.