Woodland police report shows increase in violent crime over summer
The Woodland Police Department released its quarterly status report that highlighted notable improvements in traffic enforcement, decrease in shootings and efforts to connect the city’s homeless population to valuable resources. The report outlined crimes that occurred from July through September and showed that larceny/thefts, simple assaults and aggravated assaults were the three most common. However, the report also showed a stark decrease in motor vehicle theft compared to the last quarter.
Crimes involving rape saw a 300% increase while crimes involving aggravated assaults saw a 144% increase. “In regards to crime, violent crime is up but I’m seeing a positive trend,” Woodland Police Chief Derrek Kaff said during last week’s City Council meeting. He noted that shootings slowed down dramatically during the last quarter.
“Where we had experienced a shooting every five days during the first six months of 2021. That number has gone way down and is now one shooting in 20 days,” he emphasized. Kaff said there are a number of factors that he thinks contributed to the success in reducing shootings including working with the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office and community groups.
“The gang task force is working together with the Yolo District Attorney’s Office to keep our most violent criminals incarcerated, (which) is certainly a big factor,” he stressed. “I also want to highlight the community groups such as Advanced Peace that are also working to provide activities and alternatives to violence for people currently engaged in criminal activity or could be heading down that wrong path.” Kaff argued that this two-pronged approach appears to be working but noted there is still a lot more work that needs to be done.
Traffic enforcement in Woodland has increased significantly as well, according to Kaff. “When we’re talking total citations, there was a 62% increase in total citations,” Kaff stated. He also noted a 99% increase in radar speed citations and a 433% increase in citations relating to loud exhaust/altered smog equipment.
“This is intentional based on the complaints that we’re getting from the community and the council,” Kaff said. “Traffic is always a big concern in our community, which is why this is one of the four main focus areas of our strategic plan.” Kaff also noted that the police department recently completed training regarding street racing and enforcement, which might be another reason there was a dramatic increase in loud exhaust citations. The city’s Homeless Outreach Street Team (HOST) assisted in dealing with crimes, clean-up projects and monitoring of the city’s parks.
“HOST continues to work with our county and state partners to abate camps, enforce laws and assist those who want to engage in resources with those programs that are available,” Kaff emphasized.
The team increased its downtown patrols significantly during the last quarter while still managing to clean a considerable number of camps, offering services to those who needed them and keeping in touch with local businesses.
“While there are still areas for improvement, Woodland PD has been successful at identifying and facing our community and taking action,” Kaff stated.