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Long Beach is continuing to make strong progress on public health, economic recovery and on community safety — but we know there's still major work ahead of us. The last two and a half years have presented tremendous challenges to our city. There's economic anxiety, more people have fallen into homelessness due to the economy and remote work has changed the number of people and activities in our Downtown. Fewer people occupying public spaces often causes additional safety concerns.
We've responded with significant investments to ensure that every resident in every part of Long Beach is safe in their neighborhood. That includes adding an additional 20 Police Officers in this year's budget focused on bike and walking patrols.
There was a horrific incident yesterday that included a murder and 3 stabbings. This unprovoked act of violence is unacceptable and we mourn for the families impacted. While the number of overall violent crimes in Long Beach has decreased over the last year, this and other acts of violence are serious and need to be addressed. Our LBPD is working to add additional patrols to areas impacted and the suspect involved in these crimes has been arrested.
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We're also working citywide to activate communities, engage in violence prevention, create opportunities for young people and confiscate illegal guns. Thanks to these efforts, there have been 13% fewer shootings in 2022 when compared to the year before.
Initiatives like our Police Department Neighborhood Walks Program and the use of additional bike officers have also helped police build relationships and engage with communities that have been the most impacted by violence. We must continue to not only expand these intervention programs but also work to address the upstream causes of crime. This means ensuring everyone — especially our most vulnerable neighbors — has access to housing, education, jobs and a community where they can thrive.
I'm glad to see violence declining toward the historic lows we saw just before COVID and I look forward to continuing this critical work to make Long Beach an even safer place.
Mayor Robert Garcia
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