Lately, I have had a number of people ask me about crime statistics in Antioch. More specifically, they want to know how our current crime rate compares to the crime rate prior to Measure C being approved by voters back in November 2013. Below is a graph comparing Antioch’s Part I crimes for the first nine months of 2013 to the first nine months of this year. (They can also be viewed on the City’s website at https://www.antiochca.gov/police/crime-statistics/)
Pretty staggering results! Overall, violent crime is down 39.9% and property crime is down 25.5%, resulting in a Total Part I Crime reduction of 28.2%.
This data clearly shows that Antioch is a safer community than it was five years ago. Now, by no means am I saying Antioch is crime-free, or even as safe as we would like it to be. It’s not. However, we have made great strides over the last five years in making our city safer. But like many things that happen over a period of time, the results aren’t as obvious to those of us who live here and are acclimated to the environment we see every day.
I’d like to share a personal story as an analogy to this. About 13 years ago, I weighed 320 pounds. I made some eating and lifestyle changes, and eventually lost over 100 pounds. This was very difficult for me to do and took more than a year to accomplish. The sad part about this was while I was losing weight, I continually felt as though my physical appearance was not changing. I saw myself every day, picking apart every flaw, and continually feeling as though I was making very little (if any) progress. It was not until I saw a picture of myself at my heaviest, and compared it to a more recent picture, that I was able to appreciate the change I had made.
Some people have a preconceived notion about Antioch. And for them, every single incident of crime reported helps justify their opinion. Also known as confirmation bias, this is the mentality of someone who fails to see the forest for the trees. Antioch previously had the unfortunate distinction of being one of the most dangerous cities in California. That is no longer the case. In fact, the most recent list I saw (just published last week) had Antioch down to #51 (https://www.roadsnacks.net/most-dangerous-cities-in-california/). By no means is this perfect or even ideal. But it’s a marked improvement from where we were.
There is still a lot of work needed to make Antioch safer. But the men and women of the Antioch Police Department have been, and are still, committed to doing the best we can with the staffing and resources we have to improve the safety of our community. I believe the funding generated by Measure C has enabled the Antioch Police Department to make a measurable impact on the crime in our city over the past five years. Measure W, on this November’s ballot, is intended to continue providing the Department funding that could be used for programs and staffing to further reduce crime in our community.
As your Chief of Police, and an Antioch resident, I am truly thankful for everything and everyone working to keep our community safer!
Tammany Brooks III
Antioch Chief of Police
**The increase in Rape crimes was a direct result of the Department of Justice expanding the definition of that crime, which took effect January 2014.