Santa Maria Police Department Increases Efforts to Reduce Gun Crime

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Source: Santa Maria Police Department

To keep our community safe, the Santa Maria Police Department is increasing efforts to reduce gun-related crimes. The Department recently installed license plate reader cameras throughout the community, helping investigators identify and arrest offenders, and recover evidence including firearms used in crimes. The Police Department’s crime lab has improved capability to process firearm evidence, resulting in linking firearms not only to the crime being investigated, but often to other crimes where little to no evidence or information was available at the time.
As part of an effort to use a data-driven approach to reduce firearm violence, the Department hired a Crime Analyst in late 2021. Data analytics are used successfully to link pattern crimes, alert officers to trends, and aid in directed enforcement activities.    
In conjunction with increased evidence collection technology, personnel have increased directed enforcement efforts with a specific emphasis on identifying violent offenders and the seizure of illegal firearms. Over the last 12 months, officers have served numerous search warrants, conducted probation and parole compliancy checks, and made many firearms-related arrests.
As part of these efforts, on Tuesday, December 14, a team of 21 officers and deputies from the Santa Maria Police Department, California State Parole, and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department conducted compliancy checks on numerous known criminals on probation and/or parole.  This operation led to the arrest of two people and the seizure of one illegally possessed handgun and a high-capacity ammunition magazine. One of the individuals who was searched, was found to have been the victim of a recent unreported shooting, which will now be investigated.
In all, the Santa Maria Police Department seized 101 firearms as evidence in 2021, which is up from 77 firearms in 2020 and 87 in 2019.
City of Santa Maria

Year Incidents: Firearm Discharge Incidents: Person Shot Firearm Homicides
2019 39 13 6
2020 51 16 2
2021* 116 25 5

*2021 data through 12/29/21
Not every discharge of a firearm results in a person being shot
The data displayed in the “Incidents: Person Shot” column reflects the number of incidents in which one or more person(s) were actually injured by gunfire
Working in partnership with our community, the City continues the ongoing efforts to reduce the number of gun-related crimes. Anyone with information related to any crime, or information that may aid in the reduction of firearm-related incidents, are encouraged to call the Santa Maria Police Department at (805) 928-3781 extension 2277.  For those wanting to provide anonymous information, please call the tip line at (805) 928-3781 extension COPS (2677) or go to our website, where you can leave an anonymous tip. For information related to this press release, please contact Lt. Terry A. Flaa at (805) 928-3781 extension 1236.     

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CoastWatch Jan 01, 2022 06:20 PM
Santa Maria Police Department Increases Efforts to Reduce Gun Crime

San Luis Obispo and Atascadero just installed license plate readers. More communities need to step up and install these. The cost of Policing is skyrocketing and this is a 24/7 way to monitor who and where the traffic in your city come from. There are a lot of misconceptions on these "readers". They ONLY register the type and color of the vehicle as well as the plate. they DO NOT take pictures of the drivers or occupants. The data can be honed to profile where the cars are from that enter your town as well as how long they are staying. This is a HUGE amount of data to help hoteliers and the tourist industry at large.

JB86 Dec 31, 2021 01:24 AM
Santa Maria Police Department Increases Efforts to Reduce Gun Crime

There is clearly a problem that has gotten worse in SM and it is good the police are trying to do something proactive to address it. 'Stop and Frisk' and 'broken windows' policing actually worked in NYC, but the political winds shifted and things have gotten bad again for lack of positive policing. Can't have it both ways. Name your poison.

RHS Dec 30, 2021 06:19 PM
Santa Maria Police Department Increases Efforts to Reduce Gun Crime

Why stop with license plate readers? Let 's just put up signs that notify people that they surrender their private life when the enter into city boundaries. Then the police can stop and search at will. If we let loose the dogs of authoritarianism we would probably have a safer community (although places like Argentina/Chile/Philippines/ USSR tell a different story).

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