Police Chief Michael Meehan

The city’s quarterly report on crime, to be presented at tonight’s City Council meeting, shows a 17% drop in violent crime and a 7% drop in property crime for the first nine months of the year compared to the same period in 2009. The police department’s goal was for a 10% reduction in crime.

There were 388 violent crimes in the year through September, compared to 466 last year. There were four homicides in each period, but all other categories showed a drop: rapes were down from 20 to 19, robbery 331 to 260, and aggravated assault from 111 to 105. Property crimes dropped to 4,533 from 4,897. Burglaries were up 6%, with 838 this year compared to 794 last year. Larcenies were down to 3,247 from 3,514, and auto theft dropped dramatically, to 448 from 589.

Police Chief Michael Meehan, who came to the Berkeley post last December, cites three crime reduction strategies in the report: an organizational restructuring, the use of comparative statistics and the formation of a Crime Analysis Response Strategies team in the police department.

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...