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L.A. County Sheriff’s Department says homicide rate lowest since 1975

October 14, 2010 |  1:08 pm

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department touted a continued decrease in homicides Thursday.

By the end of September last year, the department tallied 160 criminal homicides, compared with 134 this year, a roughly 15% decrease.

The sheriff's patrol areas sprawl a massive jurisdiction that makes up about about three-fourths of Los Angeles County, home to some 4 million residents.

Department officials called the homicide rate the lowest since 1975.

The gains come despite deep budget cuts to the agency that have resulted in slower 911 response times and backlogs in evidence analysis.

"It has to do with Sheriff Baca's philosophy of focusing our energies, even with limited resources," said Capt. Mike Parker.

Parker pointed to outreach efforts –- incorporating clergy and community volunteers –- along with crime prevention efforts.

A dip in homicides in Compton and nearby unincorporated areas was spotlighted in Thursday's announcement: 36 at this marking point last year, compared with 20 this year.

-- Robert Faturechi

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