LOMPOC, Calif. – The city of Lompoc released its crime report for 2022-2023, showing a decrease in some crimes while others skyrocket.
Rates of assault with a firearm increased by 300%, assault with a deadly weapon up by 15% and shootings rose by 25%.
At the Nov. 21 City Council meeting, Police Chief Kevin Martin said this year the Lompoc Police Department recovered 37 weapons – 23 were company manufactured while 15 were personally made.
Martin said this may mean there are more firearms on the streets of Lompoc.
Although violent crimes remain high, the city saw homicides drop by 20%. The city is also saw domestic battery and robberies down by 37%.
Grand theft by vehicles are down 86% and felony burglaries by 6%.
Martin said the department has inadequate staffing to get ahead of crime, and had to shut down the Special Investigations Unit to have patrol officers available.
In March, Congressman Salud Carbajal requested $800,000 in federally funding through the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on behalf of Lompoc Police.
Martin said they are expecting three new trainees to enter the Police Academy in 2024 in hopes to add more officers to their team.
Lompoc is currently operating with 43 officers to serve approximately 44,000 residents. The report also showed over 67,000 calls to the 911 operator.
Martin said the police department has their hands full but hopes to receive more funding in 2024.
In January, the department is expecting to receive 55 body cameras for officers worth $300,000.
Martin completed his crime report presentation by touching on the opioid epidemic, specifically the damages of fentanyl.
He said first responders are using up to three Narcan doses to revive users. He added, fentanyl is not only being used by the youth but there are also users of 60 years and older.
Martin warned the city fentanyl is now coming in liquid form and will be used in vapes. Although the Central Coast has not seen a case yet, he is unsure how second hand smoke will impact the community.
In the coming year, the police department is working on an educational video to help the public be aware of the drug and how to use the life saving Narcan dosage.