Murder Tally For 2016 In San Bernardino Reaches 62

SAN BERNARDINO—2016 ended with the dubious distinction of being the most murderous year not only during the ongoing five year period in which there has been a serious uptick in homicides in the county seat but the most deadly 12 months in San Bernardino since the beginning of the millennium. Between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016 inclusive, there have been 241 homicides in San Bernardino, an average of 48.2 annually. 2016 closed out with 62 killings, significantly more than the average over the last five years and well above the 47 in 2012, 45 in 2013, 43 in 2014 and the 44 in 2015. Indeed, that number eclipsed the 58 murders recorded in the city in 2005, which city officials were until recently hopeful would be the high water mark for mayhem in San Bernardino this century.
San Bernardino’s murder rate had crept up to 58 in 2005 after a gradual but steady climb from 42 in 2002, to 48 in 2003, 50 in 2004. After 2005, homicides seemed to be trending downward – 46 in 2006, 45 in 2007, 32 in 2008 and 2009, another drop off to 31 in 2010 and then 30 in 2011. But San Bernardino’s curse of violence again took hold in 2012, including a wave of carnage that took place in the final days of April and first week of May in 2012, when, between April 28 and May 7, a period of nine days, eight people were murdered in the city. In May 2012, 12 people were murdered in San Bernardino. The pace of killing was nearly as bad in all of 2014, when 43 occurred, as it had been in 2013, during which there were 45. In 2015, or the first eleven months of it, the city seemed heading in a better direction, on a pace to return to a murder total in the low 30s. But on December 2, the second deadliest murder rampage in California history took place at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernrdino when Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik opened fire on more than 60 of Farook’s San Bernardino County Department of Public Health colleagues who were gathered for a training event and Christmas party. Fourteen were killed, with all but two dying on the spot. Twenty-two others were seriously wounded but survived. A little over four hours later Farook and Malik were killed in a shootout with the police. Thus, 2015 would end with 44 murders in San Bernardino, or 46, if the deaths of Farook and Malik are added to the total.
Blood continued to be spilled apace in 2016. By the end of June, there had been 32 killings in San Bernardino.
Available records show that the greatest number of homicides occurring in the San Bernardino City Limits in one year was in 1995, when 67 people were killed.
One officer said the murderous trend of the 1990s subsided with the lowering of the popularity of crack cocaine and the aging of baby boomers. But the 62 murders this year is not far off the city’s worst annual such circumstance.
Officials are contemplating strategies to cut into the mayhem, including something called Operation Ceasefire, which has achieved success in other large multiple cities hit by urban blight. Simultaneously, the city is looking toward increasing police staffing and improving police technology and equipment under a $56 million five-year police resources plan. At this point the funding goal for that approach is below fifty percent.

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