By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Police report: Turlock sees fewer thefts, more violent crimes in 2016
TPD crime scene pic2


                                                2015       2016

Homicide                              2              7

Forcible rape                      17           23

Aggravated assault          259         264

Auto theft                           513         537

Robbery                               103         93

Burglaries                            602         475



The crime rate in Turlock for Part One crimes took a dip in 2016, with noticeable declines in some theft-related offenses, while violent crimes rose, according to the Turlock Police Department’s annual report.

The overall crime rate in 2016 decreased by approximately 7 percent when compared to 2015. The drop was largely led by decreases in robberies, burglaries and larcenies in 2016. Motor vehicle thefts were the only theft-related crimes that did not see a drop between 2015 and 2016, according to the annual report.

“In 2016…we were able to significantly impact quality of life issues,” said Turlock Police Chief Nino Amirfar during his presentation of the annual report to the Turlock City Council on Tuesday.

“You’ll see from this report, and also the quarterly reports I’ve provided since August, that the police department has utilized every resource we have available to us…to address quality of life issues,” he continued.

Turlock’s Part One crime rate for 2016 was at 40.28 per 1,000 residents. Part One crimes include homicides, rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries, larcenies, and auto thefts. There were 2,902 Part One crimes reported in 2016, compared to 3,120 in 2015.

Violent crimes saw increases in 2016 in Turlock. The homicide rate for 2016 took a dramatic increase of 350 percent because there were seven homicides, compared to two in 2015. Forcible rapes increased from 17 in 2015 to 23 in 2016. Aggravated assaults grew from 259 in 2015 to 264 in 2016.

The number of burglaries in 2016 dropped by approximately 21 percent, according to the annual report. In 2016 there were 475 reported burglaries, compared to 602 the year prior. Larcenies dropped from 1,624 in 2015 to 1,503 in 2016. There were 10 fewer robberies between 2015 and 2016, with 103 in 2015 and 93 in 2016.

The Turlock Narcotics Enforcement Team saw a busy year in 2016 with 149 arrests. Over the course of the year the team served 16 search warrants and performed 80 probation and parole searches. The team seized 248.66 grams of cocaine, 1,276 pounds of marijuana, 53 grams of heroin, and 16 pounds of methamphetamine. They also seized 11 firearms in 2016. The total asset forfeiture came to more than $39,000 thousand.

In 2016, the patrol division responded to 44,968 calls for service. Of those, 11,155 had reports filed with 4,411 arrests made. The number of arrests is a 32 percent increase from 2015, when the department logged 3,338 arrests. The last time the police department had more than four thousand arrests was in 2011, when there were 4,507. The number of juvenile and adult arrests were both up in 2016, by 13 percent and 33 percent, respectively. There were 240 juvenile arrests in 2016, up from 212 in 2015. Adult arrests were at 4,171 in 2016, up from 3,126 the year prior.

The patrol division also responded to 1,860 calls for service related to municipal code violations in 2016, which is an eight percent increase from the 1,720 reported in 2015.

Of the 44,968 calls, the majority of them, at 64 percent, were for various reasons that resulted in an officer being dispatched. Six percent were for people needing 911 information and 4 percent were 911 hang-ups, according to the report. Calls reporting a suspicious person were at 4 percent, while those requesting report information, security checks, larcenies, suspicious incidents, and verbal disturbances all came in at 3 percent each. Calls reporting suspicious vehicles, dangerous drivers, and noise disturbances were all at 2 percent.

In total the Turlock Communications Center received 100,293 incoming telephone calls for service in 2016. There were 25,632 calls that were dispatched as a priority, with 719 categorized as priority one, meaning the quickest response is necessary. The average response time for those calls was at seven minutes and 11 seconds, which is an improvement from the average response time of seven minutes and 23 seconds recorded in 2015. There were 2,744 priority two calls, with an average response time of 13 minutes and 14 seconds, which is down from the 15 minutes and 27 seconds posted in 2015. There were 18,867 priority three calls, which had an average response time of 39 minutes and 15 seconds, and 3,302 priority four calls, with an average response time of 59 minutes and one second.

The year saw the start of the police department’s Community Outreach Response and Engagement team, which replaced the Criminal Apprehension Gang Enforcement unit. The C.O.R.E. team’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in Turlock, by responding to and developing strategies for those community priorities. Some issues tackled by the team included a focus on illegal nuisance behaviors and ordinance violations with Turlock’s City Attorney Phaedra Norton; probation and parole searches and sweeps; gang suppression operations; and streamlined the reporting processes for juvenile runaways and larceny shoplifts. The team was responsible for 104 felony arrests and 323 misdemeanor arrests for 2016, according to the annual report.

Improving traffic and pedestrian safety in Turlock has been a priority for the city and has tasked the Traffic Safety Unit with implementing some of those goals. Over the year, the unit conducted four DUI checkpoints and numerous patrols focused on DUI offenders and distracted drivers. The unit also conducted seatbelt and general traffic enforcement operations. Even with the increased enforcement operations, Turlock still continues to see a high number of collisions, given the size and population. In 2016, there were 924 collisions, which is a 9 percent increase from 2015. Of the 924 collisions, there were five fatalities, which is an increase of 150 percent from 2015. Those collisions also resulted in 275 injuries, which is a slight decrease of .4 percent from 2015. In 2016 the Traffic Safety Unit issued 2,138 traffic violations, resulting in a 78 percent increase from 2015. The police department also issued 1,167 parking citations, which is a 20 percent increase from last year, according to the annual report.

The police department is one of the agencies that participates in the County Integrated Traffic Enforcement team that collaborates on traffic operations throughout Stanislaus County. One operation was held in November in Turlock after the city saw back to back pedestrian fatalities. The operations focused on pedestrian safety and saw approximately 70 citations issued.

The previous year saw the development of one new team for the police department and the return of another. The Turlock Police Department and the Stanislaus County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services partnered together to form the Homeless Engagement Multi-Disciplinary Team, which helps law enforcement deal with those in need of mental health services. The team was formed in 2015 and grew in 2016. The goal of the program is to steer those in need toward mental health services and intervene in a fashion that keeps the person out of a cycle of jail and release. The three Turlock Police officers engaged in the partnership made contact and offered services to 152 individuals over the year.

The year saw the return of the K9 unit to the Turlock Police Department when Varick and Keyser joined the force. Partnered with officers Nim Khamo and Queray McMihelk, the two canines have proven to be valuable assets for the department by assisting in suspect apprehension, searching for evidence, tracking, and keeping their handlers safe. They also are incredibly popular with the community, appearing at the department’s open house and during National Night Out events.

“They’ve had a huge impact in regards to our community outreach programs, let alone taking a bite out of crimes,” said Amirfar.