Violent crimes increase in county
Last updated 12/8/2020 at 4:03am | View PDF
There has been an increase in crime in 2020 over 2019, said Sgt. Pete Martinez to the Wasco City Council.
Citing statistics from Wasco, Bakersfield and Kern County overall, Martinez said that violent crimes such as aggravated assault and homicides have increased since 2019. He said that in 2019, there were 36 aggravated assaults and through Oct. 31 of this year, there have been 45 incidents with two months left to report.
“During 2019 in Kern County there were 95 homicides and in 2020, there have already been 116 with one month left to count numbers,” he said. Kern County numbers have also risen and in 2019 there were 3,790 aggravated assaults and in 2020, there have already been 3,943.
He also cited the Bakersfield Police Department with 32 homicides in 2019 and 36 in 2020. There were 914 aggravated assaults in 2019 and 1,017 in 2020.
Martinez described two separate shootings that the sheriff’s office is attempting to determine if they are related. One shooting occurred on Nov. 18 where a 37-year-old man was shot. The victim was transferred to Kern Medical where he received treatment and his wounds were not life threatening.
The other shooting was on Oct.31 and involved two victims. Both were reported not having life-threatening injuries and the victims were also sent to Kern Medical.
Martinez said everyone needs to be extra cautious during the holiday season and not leave wrapped packages or other important items in their vehicles.
“If someone passes by an automobile and sees something of interest, it’s too easy for them to ‘grab and go,’” he said. “Be sure to either put a blanket over your items or put them in the trunk.”
He also advised residents to use their home security cameras.
Martinez emphasized that people need to be wary of where they are and who is around them and keep those vehicles locked.
In other business, the City Council discussed the several board position openings that are currently available such as on the Vector Control Board and two positions on the Planning Commission. There was only one application for the position on the Vector Control Board and none for the Planning Commission.
“We will continue to advertise for the Planning Commission boards,” City Manager Daniel Ortiz-Hernandez said. He then asked the council members to discuss the open positions among their acquaintances and see if they can get some interested applicants. Ortiz-Hernandez also mentioned that there is training for members serving on the Planning Commission.