2013 Year-End Report Indicates Lakewood Becoming Safer

Judging whether a community is safer from year to year isn’t an exact science.

But if trends and numbers mean anything, then the City of Lakewood is becoming safer, thanks in large part to the work of its Police Department.

This week, the Police Department presented its 2013 year-end report to the Lakewood City Council. The report covered plenty – everything from the number of incidents to the number of uses of force by officers to the number of times the department received awards and praise. Here are some highlights of the report:

  • Police responded to 59,909 calls for service in 2013, more than 2,500 of which resulted in bookings. More than 17,000 involved traffic stops
  • Officer use of force (90 in 2013) represented an 18 percent drop from the prior year. There were no complaints of excessive force, and taser use fell almost 70 percent
  • Officers used force on a sliver of a percent – 0.15 -- of its contacts, and 3 percent of physical arrests required use of force
  • Police received 39 citizen letters of praise and 27 department awards.

Assistant Chief Mike Zaro told the City Council that determining whether Lakewood is a safer community compared to years past can be subjective. However, the number of Priority One calls for service has dropped to its lowest level since 2008, and the violent crime rate has dropped to its second-lowest mark since 2005.

“If you look at the numbers and the trends, it does show that the City is clearly moving in the right direction,” he said.

To view the Police Department’s full report, click here . When prompted to the agenda, under “Items For Discussion,” select “2013 Year End Police Department Report.”