There were fewer theft-related crimes in Turlock, helping the city’s police department record an overall lower crime rate, according to the Turlock Police Department’s annual report.
The annual report, which was presented to the Turlock City Council on Tuesday, is in part a yearly accounting of Part One crimes reported within the city limits. Part One crimes include homicides, rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries, larcenies and auto thefts.
The overall crime rate for 2018 dropped by 4 percent when compared to 2017. The drop continues a trend of decreasing crime rates. In 2017, the city recorded a 5 percent decline and in 2016 there was a 7 percent drop in overall crime. The 2018 overall rate also was below the five-year average.
While most of the Part One crimes in Turlock saw declines, two of the most violent types of crimes had increases in 2018.
The homicide rate saw a significant increase in 2018 with nine deaths investigated by the Turlock Police Department. The year prior saw four investigations, though a total of 10 homicides happened in Turlock, some of which were out of the city jurisdiction. The rate resulted in a 125 percent increase, according to the report.
In 2018, there were 29 rapes reported in Turlock, which is an increase of 12 percent from the year prior. Rapes reported to the Turlock Police Department have been increasing since 2016, when 23 were reported, followed by 26 in 2017.
The rate of robberies saw the largest decline in 2018 of 10 percent. In 2018, there were 130 robberies, compared to 144 reported in 2017. While the 2018 rate was down from 2017, it was still at the second highest rate seen in the previous five years. The rate had been on a steady decline starting in 2014 (109) and continuing in 2015 (103) and 2016 (93), before jumping in 2017.
Turlock recorded 259 aggravated assaults in 2018, down by 9 percent from 2017, when the department reported 284. The 2018 rate was also lower than the rates recorded in 2015 and 2016.
The rate of burglaries dropped by 8 percent in 2018, when the police department responded to 350 cases, compared to the 382 reported in 2017. Burglaries have been dropping since 2015, when it reached 603.
Larcenies were at 1,447 in 2018, which was a decline of 2 percent from 2017, when 1,476 were reported. Larcenies have seen decreases over the last three years, partly because of Prop 47, which changed some previous felonies to misdemeanors if the value of the property is below $950.
The city saw 435 reported auto thefts, which was down by 2 percent from the 446 reported in 2017.
Patrol officers had 47,379 dispatched calls and 45,773 self-initiated calls in 2018. The numbers are down from 2017, when the department responded to 48,976 dispatched calls and another 59,402 self-initiated calls.
The department recorded 3,774 arrests in 2018, down from 4,430 arrests in 2017.
In 2018, dispatch received 131,711 incoming calls. Of those, 32,467 were emergency 911 calls, for an average of 89 per day. Throughout the year, the Turlock Communications Unit answered 99 percent of 911 calls within 15 seconds, well above the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. There were 894 Priority One calls in 2018, up from 854 in 2017. The average response time for Priority One calls was at seven minutes and 35 seconds in 2018, which is up from the seven minutes and 18 seconds from 2017.
Priority Two calls came in at 3,019, up 2 percent from the year prior. The average response time grew by 10 percent from 13:40 in 2017 to 15:05 in 2018.