Earlier this week, Richmond Mayor Tom Butt publicly praised news that his city, which in 2009 was ranked the 6th most dangerous in America, was absent from a new list of 12 Most Dangerous Cities in Northern California.
The mayor did not initially realize the main reason his city didn’t make the list: the FBI database does not currently include 2015 crime data for Richmond. The “dangerous cities” report’s author told us they couldn’t find Richmond’s data among the list of hundreds of cities in the FBI database, and so the city wasn’t factored into their list.
Mayor Butt soon discovered that the Richmond Police Department suffered a software failure last year that delayed reporting of the 2015 crime data to the FBI. Today, the mayor posted an update on his e-forum newsletter with Chief Allwyn Brown’s response to the delay in data reporting, along with the above RPD crime data for 2015.
“We suffered a significant data loss in November 2015 as a result of a combination of human neglect and software failure and so our data it was submitted late, and they chose not to include it,” Brown told the mayor.
The dangerous Northern California cities report listed its results in this order: 1. Oakland; 2. Stockton; 3. Modesto; 4. Merced; 5. Vallejo; 6. Santa Cruz; 7. San Francisco; 8. San Pablo; 9. Sacramento; 10. Madera; 11. Salinas and 12. Antioch.
Despite not having its statistics in the FBI database, Richmond can still cheer a reduction in overall crime. Even though there has been an increase in homicides this year, the city has continued to see a decline in overall violent and property crimes. In 2014, the city recorded a three-decades-low homicide total of 11, a far cry from the 47 recorded in 2009. The improvement has largely been credited to a community policing model under former Richmond police Chief Chris Magnus that has become a national example for building bonds between police and the residents they serve.