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San Bernardino's crime stats show progress

February 1, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
The city of San Bernardino is seeing some progress in its battle against crime. New figures show a significant drop in violent crime.

Statistics released Tuesday show violence in the city is down by almost 15 percent.

"I think that is reassuring, nice to hear and reasonable," said Jason Cleveland, who works in San Bernardino. "Driving around and where I've been lately, that seems right on par."

In 2010, there was one less homicide when compared to 2009, along with a 7 percent drop in robbery and a 21 percent decline in assaults.

However, there was a slight increase in thefts and rape cases.

The San Bernardino Police Department has partnered with residents through its citizens academy, which has graduated 200 members.

San Bernardino police officials say programs like Neighborhood Watch and Citizen Patrol are helping to reduce crime in the city.

"I think we've made some pretty big strides this past year with our community relations and getting the community involved in crime fighting and making the city safer," said San Bernardino Police Chief Keith Kilmer.

The police department has also expanded its gang task force and stepped up the city's graffiti removal program to keep streets clean and clear.

But changing the public's perception of a troubled city will take more than numbers.

"Living here over 40 years, it seems to me like it's just about the same," said San Bernardino resident Auroa De La Torre.

For residents, it will take long-term results to change their minds.