Phoenix Crime Data

More from this show

Phoenix Police Officer Luis Samudio shares the latest crime data with HORIZONTE and reveals which parts of the valley are seeing a decrease in criminal activity.

José Cárdenas
>> According to phoenix police, crime data from 2008 shows a significant reduction in crimes across the valley for the first time in 10 years. Joining me to talk about specific details and why is phoenix police public information officer Luis Samudio. Officer Samudio, thank you for joining us on "horizonte."

Luis Samudio
>> Thank you.

José Cárdenas
>> I want to talk a little bit about the data that was gathered here and how it was put together.

Luis Samudio
>> the information I am providing to you today is done through our crime analysis unit with the phoenix police department where we have seen a significant decrease in some of the major crimes that really affect us from day to day. It's something we are quite proud of. But again, it's something that we never can predict what crime brings to us or how crime comes or not.

José Cárdenas
>> It comes as a little bit of a surprise given the fact we have had a significant increase in population.

Luis Samudio
>> Absolutely.

José Cárdenas
>> About 1.2 million, to almost 1.7 million in 2008. Yet crime total violent and property crimes has gone down from 105,000 to 93,000. How do you explain that?

Luis Samudio
>> I think a lot of that is working together not only with the department but our communities and doing our crime prevention programs and educating the public and having people understand how we all work together and how critical they can be for us and trying to prevent these types of crimes and stopping them, from growing.

José Cárdenas
>> I think one reason why people would be surprised is not only the fact our population has gone up so you would think crime rates would have gone up but the fact in the papers it seems like every day there's a sense anyway that crime has increased. What's going on here? How do we explain the discrepancy between the perception of a great increase in crime and the fact it's actually dropped?

Luis Samudio
>> I think it's a lot on community awareness, too. The media does a very good job getting the information out. That includes just the radio stations, TV stations and newspapers and, of course, you got to relate it to technology, our computers now. Everybody is looking to the computers and reading incidents that are occurring around the valley and around the world for that matter. So that makes everybody more aware of it as well. That's what maybe the perception people are seeing as well.

José Cárdenas
>> Part of it's the crime has been there and it's just getting more attention?

Luis Samudio
>> Sure it's getting more attention. we have great reporters, great information that's being delivered to our community, not just with the police department but also with the local media and delivering a message and making the area aware of what is occurring.

José Cárdenas
>> Let's talk about some of those specific programs you mentioned that will explain why the number of crimes has gone down.

Luis Samudio
>> Sure. I think a lot of it; it begins with the simple facts of block watch programs that we already have implemented throughout the city. These are programs that have been existing for a while but we have pushed it more and getting people to understand how they will benefit for their communities. We have the phoenix neighborhood patrol programs where our own citizens attend eight-hour training on phoenix neighborhood patrol where we educate them and how to take care of their own neighborhoods and understanding how we work, and get them to work closely with us as well.

José Cárdenas
>> there was some fear expressed, especially when employers sanctions were going into effect, that when there was a lot of publicity about police agencies entering into 287g agreements with the immigration customs enforcement that members of the Hispanic community would be less willing to cooperate with the police. Have you seen that impact?

Luis Samudio
>> I think there is, it has affected it somehow but I also believe that we have done really well in having these Hispanic community trust in us that we are here to protect them and to protect their communities, too. So I think its give and take on both sides. Again, I do see some hesitation with the community, but I think it's coming around where people are understanding that phoenix police is here to work with them as well to protect them and provide service that we are supposed to provide for them.

José Cárdenas
>> You mention block watch being one of those programs that may have contributed to the decrease in crime. And when we were, before the show we were talking about one recent incident where you had a citizen who made a report that led to a significant human smuggling.

Luis Samudio
>> A very significant. in fact, I got to work on that with another media outlet where we had a citizen that was very active in her community in block watch participating in what we call a weed and seed site where they provided information in their community, public safety meetings and invited our officers of she was watching a lot of activity coming in and out of a home. Well, police definitely paid attention to what she was saying and we began surveillance and that led us to a drop box so we had 17 UDAS and two of those were the coyotes.

José Cárdenas
>> Some of the improvement we have seen has been particularly noticeable in some precincts that previously had high crime rates. Tell us a little bit about that.

Luis Samudio
>> There's been a significant drop in homicides even in the south mountain phoenix, south phoenix area. We also had a significant drop in -- this is throughout the city. i can't be specific on what part of the city but in auto theft, again, like you mentioned in property crimes and thefts. Auto theft programs, we have a lot of great crime prevention programs in place for that as well.

José Cárdenas
>> I notice you were talking about homicides that went from 222 in 2007 to 168 in 2008.

Luis Samudio
>> Right.

José Cárdenas
>> Significant drops in rapes, and robberies. is there, in light of the fact that, though you still hear about the increase in kidnappings or the perceived increase in kidnappings, how do you explain those two things going on at the same time? is that already captured in some of these numbers?

Luis Samudio
>> It could be and I can't give you specifics because I am not too familiar with the information that was provided for me to give you today. A lot could be related but with these recent increases that we have had for 2008, we had over 300 kidnappings matters and I am not exactly sure where we are at this time. Could be related to the issues with the border violence possibly, the issues with kidnappings and human smuggling matters, being a hub for the whole country, it brings a lot of this type of crime as well.

José Cárdenas
>> One thing that we have seen that may explain some of the drop in the crime is stepped up gang enforcement.

Luis Samudio
>> You bet. We have a lot of our great task force working in gang enforcement and also our kidnapping squads we have working together with state police, federal police as well. All working together and bringing information together has brought great success in stopping some of this violence that has been occurring here in the city of phoenix. a lot of people have seen it, people are scared, not sure what is happening but I am here to say this has been in existence for quite a while but because of the great media outlook or technology that we have, has brought to the attention to a lot of people so they think this has been a critical problem for a long time.

José Cárdenas
>> Things are improving and we appreciate you coming to our show to tell us about it. Thank you very much. That is our show for this Thursday night. I am José Cárdenas. For all of us at "horizonte," have a good evening.

Luis Samudio:Phoenix Police Officer;

President Biden for the 2024 State of the Union address.
airs March 7

State of the Union

Stewart Udall: The Politics of Beauty

A cute little duckling with text reading: Arizona PBS Ducks in a Row Event
March 6

Getting Your Ducks in a Row to Avoid Conflict When You Are Gone

A cactus blooms in the Sonoran Desert
aired Feb. 28

Desert Dreams: Celebrating Five Seasons in the Sonoran Desert

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters

STAY in touch
with azpbs.org!

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters: