Newton Division is on track for a major reduction in crimes compared to last year, said Captain Edward Prokop at Thursday's Community Police Advisory Board meeting.
Newton is the only division in the Central Bureau to be in the negative for crime reduction, said Prokop, a day after LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said L.A. is the safest big city in the United States.
"Our crime reduction is unbelievable," said Prokop. "We are number four in the city out of 21 divisions for our crime adjustment efforts."
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That means 350 fewer serious victims of crimes than Newton had at this time last year.
The division's "Achilles' heel," said the captain, is still burglaries and thefts of motor vehicles, 98 incidents of which Newton has seen over the last four months. Out of those 98, 16 happened to vehicles that were unlocked.
"The 'Lock It, Hide It, Keep It' campaign is being fully embraced by our senior lead officers," said Prokop. "We've dropped off over 1,000 flyers to neighborhood businesses trying to get the word out. The simple act of locking your vehicle will prevent that crime."
The problem of unlocked vehicles has plagued Newton for months now, and Prokop said education is the best way the division knows how to deal with the problem.
"This is our best strategy," he said. "This is the best we got."