Saturday, February 23, 2008

Media: Faster response by police seen

By Kimberly K. Fu/ Vacaville Reporter Staff Writer

Suisun City experienced a slight uptick in major crimes last year as compared to 2006, but overall, officer response times were faster and staff actions were up, according to statistics released this week.

Figures show that crime had bumped three percent; essentially, that's a mere 25 crimes during a 12-month period, Suisun City Police Chief Ed Dadisho said.

That breaks down into 10 more violent crimes - including homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault - and 15 more property crimes - including burglary, larceny and auto theft - in the last year.

Meanwhile, the city has grown, calls for service have increased and police have managed to keep crime from spiraling out of control.

"We had a good year," Dadisho said. "And I think we're going to do good things this year, too."

Pedaling back a bit, instances of rape decreased by nine in 2007 even as robberies advanced by the same number. And aggravated assaults jumped by 12 occurrences.

On the property crime side, burglaries slid by 12 cases and auto thefts by 29. But larcenies shot up by 56 cases.

Multiple crimes in certain areas, such as auto thefts, were linked to the same suspect, Dadisho said. So when that suspect was arrested, the climbing crime stopped.

A man arrested in December, for example, was linked to at least 10 auto thefts, the chief said. And after the man was safely stowed behind bars, instances of vehicle theft stalled.

"We're focusing on known criminals," Dadisho explained, residents who make a career out of, say, stealing or robbing or burglarizing. When a similar crime occurs, officers take a harder look at these career criminals to check if they're involved. If they are, they go to jail.

The emphasis in Suisun, Dadisho said, is proactivity. Officers spend even more of their duty time out in the field.

Aiding them during the peak hours of 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., he said, are dispatchers who tag-team calls so that one can take down all the pertinent information while the other dispatches help. Previously, one dispatcher did all the work.

As a result of the new "dispatch team," response times to emergency calls dropped from a shade over five minutes in 2006 to three minutes and 42 seconds in 2007.

Response times to non-emergency calls, on the other hand, dropped from 21 minutes and 23 seconds in 2006 to 14 minutes and 53 seconds last year.

Goals for this year include implementing a patrol beat system, enhanced usage of surveillance cameras, instituting the crime Free Multi-Housing Program through the "Targeting Violent Crime Task Force" and continuing the department's partnership with the FBI/Solano County Violent Gang Safe Streets Task Force.

Kimberly K. Fu can be reached at

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