City to accept federal grant funding to fight rise in crime

Santa Clarita City Hall, as pictured on February, 26, 2020, is located on the 23900 block of Valencia Blvd. Dan Watson/The Signal

Santa Clarita City Council members Tuesday accepted more than $20,000 in federal funds to support the fight against crime in the city. 

For the grant application to the federal government to receive the 2022 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, which is funding for an array of law enforcement tools, the 21st-largest city in the state reported data on its growth and its growing challenges in fighting crime. 

The vote to accept the funds passed unanimously on the council agenda’s consent calendar.

Citing a California Department of Finance report, the city notes that its population grew from 110,462 in 1990 to 228,673 as of January 2022, an increase of more than 100%.  

But along with that population growth has come certain growing pains, including quality-of-life concerns identified as “property crimes, drugs, gangs, juvenile crimes, second-hand dealers, troubled rental properties, traffic safety, unlawful neighborhood parties and public nuisance in and around riverbeds, washes and paseos.” 

While the growth has been consistent, the statistical crime increases have been a relatively recent development, according to the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department data cited in the city’s report: “… data indicates that the city’s Part 1 crime decreased by approximately 16% from 2017 to 2022, and increased by 25% year-to-date from June 2021 to June 2022,” according to the JAG application. 

“Sheriff’s Station personnel are aiming to use the 2022 JAG funds for a compilation of purchases to improve traffic safety and enforcement, investigative equipment, off-road enforcement, safety equipment, which aim to enhance technology so our overall sheriff operations are more efficient and effective,” according to a report obtained from the city. “Specifically, these items include emergency sirens, battery packs, digital cameras, emergency strobe lights, ballistic helmets/vests, tracking devices, tire repair materials, a ballistic shield, GPS units and support equipment.” 

The city, in conjunction with LASD, listed $21,669.96 on its requisition list, including: $6,110 for the First Spear Siege R IIIA Entry Vest; $4,560 going toward the 22×40 MXV Shield with Wireless LED Light; a 10.2-inch iPad for $2,549; and $2,420.75 for a Zebra ZQ520 Barcode Printer. The list also includes a number of smaller-ticket items, including a bike pump, an ATV rear-view mirror and LED emergency strobe lights. 

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