You’re More Likely to Be Murdered In Eureka, Than Los Angeles (update)

We’ve updated this post by adding these links to websites with crime statistics for Eureka. Draw your own conclusion.

2013 is not yet available, when it is, we’ll post it.

http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ca/eureka/crime/

http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime-Eureka-California.html

http://www.usa.com/eureka-ca-crime-and-crime-rate.htm

murderer

L.A. is reported to have over 450 criminal street gangs with a combined membership of over 45,000 individuals. Per capita, as of 2012, there was 7.8 murders per 100,000 residents (last year the murder rate went down).

Eureka has a population of about 27,000 people. With 3 murders so far this year, our per capita rate of murder is 11.1 murders per 100,000 residents. That is over a 40% higher rate of murder in Eureka as compared with L.A.!

The most recent case on Harris and the murder of Father Freed have a common thread…a broken mental health system. Both of the suspects had been in and out of the justice system, were mentally ill, and were still allowed to walk the streets without much (if any) supervision.

Chief Mills and other law enforcement heads have tried spin the story of Father Freed’s murder as a result of bad jail policies. The fact is that cops, the Probation Department and the Department of Health and Human Services haven’t been adequately dealing with the huge number of severely mentally ill criminals in Humboldt. Whether it’s EPD not taking a mentally ill person to Sempervirens, or Probation not recommending mandatory mental health treatment as a condition of probation, the end result is that dangerous/unstable people are walking the streets of Eureka with no accountability.

The citizens of Eureka should be outraged with the lack of response regarding these glaring issues. Hopefully, it won’t continue to take horrendous murders and assaults for the decision makers to start trying to tackle the problem of severely dangerous mentally ill criminals in Humboldt. Instead of pointing fingers, leaders like Chief Mills should take a hard look at what their departments can do to help make this community safer.

Examiner staff also wonders about the policy change Chief Mills implemented regarding press releases. He stated that he wanted to create a “positive” image of Eureka:

http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_24591077/eureka-meet-your-new-police-chief

That sentiment leaves us with a big question mark above our heads. With 3 murders in the first 3 months of the year, it stands to reason that there may be more tragedy. If we have 2-3 more murders, that would put us in the top 25 cities for per capita homicide. Above 3 murders, and we will jump into the top ten worst cities per capita for being killed (along with the likes of Oakland, Flint, Detroit, etc.).
Is keeping the public uninformed on how dangerous their city is a good idea? We’ll leave that up to you to decide. But one thing is for certain, Mills sentiment seems to resemble polishing a turd.

 

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55 thoughts on “You’re More Likely to Be Murdered In Eureka, Than Los Angeles (update)

  1. I don’t see anything about police protection or justice for the elderly. Ask a group of elderly about the EPD and they will tell you it is non-existent; a fact I can personally vouch for. Classic tactic, let the crime go then claim need to get everything you demand. What Eureka gets are roving bands of paranoid militarized police officers running amok enforcing their violence no matter how insignificant the call. We don’t need more, we need less.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. EPD takes people to Sempervirens all the time. The problem is not the cops failing to do so, its SV releasing the subjects often before the cops’ reports are done. Get informed before you make such accusations.

    EPD insider

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  3. Why so hard on new Police Chief? Seems as if you are dumping host long term of complicated problems on a guy who has only been around for short time EPD has had plenty of problems long before he arrived, I say give him a chance to clean some things up and Eureka has always been a rough place It wasn’t any more peaceful back in the lumbering seafaring days ask anybody who lived here is honest

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  4. Atwater California a city about the size of Eureka has very similar crime stats.

    http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime-Atwater-California.html

    Just for balance. The city data stats are a bit deceiving because they compare crime stats in a small city to the US average which includes vast rural areas.

    I am not saying there is no crime in Eureka. There is crime. Its just not over the top dangerous here like a big city can be.

    Yes lets put the facts on the table and have a discussion.

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  5. The fact Mills did not demand Harpham’s immediate retirement upon his hiring says everything you need to know about Mills and his management of the EPD.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “Chief Mills and other law enforcement heads have tried spin the story of Father Freed’s murder as a result of bad jail policies. ”

    Tuluwat, this is BS. Sorry. It was bad jail policies. Sure the EPD contacted him after he had been deposited here 60 miles from home in an incoherent state. The EPD did not fly him to Eureka. There is enough clusterfuck to go around but Downey’s merry crew gets the most of it.

    You are trying to blame a problematic crime wave on the mentally ill. It is a classic fascist tactic. Several recent murders involve people with severe mental problems but none of them were homeless. Most mentally ill people are harmless. It is not mentally ill people who are breaking into your tool sheds and stealing tools. It is criminals who live in houses. Homeless people have no way to haul off your precious loot. In a shopping cart?

    What has failed is your local government. You can fix it. Replace them. Start with the Brady Bunch.

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  7. I read the post carefully. this is what I read

    ” huge number of severely mentally ill criminals in Humboldt. Whether it’s EPD not taking a mentally ill person to Sempervirens, or Probation not recommending mandatory mental health treatment as a condition of probation, the end result is that dangerous/unstable people are walking the streets of Eureka with no accountability.

    This is essentially Rob Arkley’s position. If not, how is it different?

    You are attempting to conflate “mentally ill” and “criminals” in the minds of your readers. Its a tried and true propaganda trick.

    You are scapegoating the mentally ill. There are lots and lots of empty storefronts in Eureka. The mentally ill did not close those businesses.

    Your local government and the people that run it have failed you. Now they need to blame anyone but themselves.

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  8. 9:14-

    I get your point. Cops, probation, the courts, and the local mental health system are doing very well with helping the local population who are mentally ill. They do especially well with dangerous criminals who also happen to be mentally ill. On top of that, all these agencies are tackling the problem of crime very well. Glad you cleared that up.

    Also, it’s nice to see that you have realized that Rob Arkley runs this blog. Thanks for pointing it out.

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  9. Nope. None of these agencies are doing “very well” The EPD has obvious problems, has had for years. “Taking the mentally ill to Sempervirens” should not be one of their duties. Nor should they be rounding up shopping carts!!

    If there is such a big problem with mentally ill people walking the streets why don’t we just put a social worker out there? The EPD has an officer dedicated to homeless. Why isn’t she walking a beat in Old Town?

    That is if there is crime in Eureka. This is a failure of leadership, but not Chief Mills. He may well turn out to be as clueless as Harpham, but he’s only been here a couple months. I will wait and see.

    You talk about “mandatory mental health treatment.” What do you mean by that, and where would it be obtained?

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  10. 9:42

    Taking mentally I’ll people to sempervirens who are a danger to themselves or others isn’t a job for police?!?!!! Now I’m starting to wonder what your real points even are. Unless….not you….it can’t be………………..

    Go home Verbena!

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  11. “Go home Verbena?”

    I guess that’s the spirit of Bret Harte speaking.

    I am not Verbena but I am leaving. Enjoy yourself.

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  12. Okay folks; how about this for a wording everyone can live with:

    “Something should be done about some folks by some folks before something happens. ”

    Covers all the basis so the logic choppers have nothing left to chop. It’s useless of course but that’s the only way I can see everybody here being happy.

    The TE declares itself to be a place where uncomfortable truths are told (quite often uncomfortably) which means the TE skates very close to the edge at times. The TE here tried to talk about a specific problem and got called for the specificity.

    So can we all agree that we (cops, social services, mental health services etc.) don’t handle anyone (criminals, drug and alcohol addicted, mentally challenged individuals, the temporarily bewildered etc.) particularly well.

    The point, as I see it, is that dangerous people (no matter the cause of the danger) are mishandled on a seemingly regular basis and that needs to stop.

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  13. The county human services dept. Spends many millions to help people some of whom are in need of counseling and some of those ARE MENTALLY ILL. Its a fact folks and the question is really whether human services, EPD, the jail, sempervirens, city and county officials are doing their jobs effectively. Some are, but many are not. Those at the top have made “passing the buck”
    a real art form. But is the job being done? Doesn’t look like it to me. When Eurekans get pissed off enough to put real pressure on these “leader”, then something will change, It can happen. Do I think it will? I sure hope so. I have seen real spirited community groups form before here.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Isosceles:

    There is a big problem with homeless people, many of which are mentally ill, in this town. Open your eyes. Quoting policy, political rhetoric, and stats, isn’t doing you any favors with people like me. I have an art studio half a block from the Gazebo in Old Town. In the day, it’s a bustling hub of business, local retail, and tourism, with a barely visible transient contingent. But I spend time in my studio late at night and into the wee hours of morning. During that time, it’s a bustling hub of the homeless and the mentally ill, the majority of which are either alcoholic, or drug addicted, and after the bar scene ends, there are ZERO shoppers and NO businesses open. And yet there are HUNDREDS of transients crawling out of the woodwork to roam the streets. There are some nights when I can’t get anything done because literally every five minutes, there is another person digging through the bank of locked dumpsters (that are constantly being broken into despite great efforts to keep them locked) throwing trash all over the place, banging and clanging, yelling and muttering. Tons of these people are threatening and dangerous, and I know this first hand. Luckily I have never been hurt, but I have had some close calls. Just last week, I heard loud banging outside on the corner of 2nd and F St, and as I watched from my studio window, a man with a large hatchet was shuffling down the street hitting various objects with his weapon, screaming obscenities. I feel for a lot of these folks, and I have stood outside in the middle of the night handing out free coffee and spare coats from my own closet on bitterly cold nights. But for you to allude to there not being a homeless problem in this town is ridiculous. I propose you walk the streets instead of reading blogs. I challenge you to explore the gullies up on Myrtle Avenue, all the way to Lucas St. instead of attending City Council meetings. I challenge you. How about the area behind Bayshore Mall, or the trees off the new trail just south of there? Hell, I fucking DARE you. When you’ve had a mentally sick person try to follow you into your locked building right behind you, or had some crazy guy come bolting out from behind a tree screaming and wielding a giant stick/club at you, or get threatened by some schizophrenic, who is sleeping in front of the door to your Old Town building, when all you want to do is go home. Let me tell you, a person who has no grasp on reality, who is in your face threatening to kill you because you are going about your normal business, can be quite convincing indeed. I think you need to get out on the streets of this town and see it for what it really is, instead of sitting at your computer or in a meeting room with a bunch of disconnected old hrumphs talking about it, and fooling yourself into thinking you already know. Take the Isosceles Challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. @301

    you are pathetic. Really. Do you still wet your bed?

    ] live and work in Old Town.and I don’t live in fear every day. WOW.

    When did you lose the courage to live?

    @watchman. sure HSS “spends money” lots of it. Its just about the biggest employer in Humboldt County.

    But “counseling?” NO.

    Call them up and ask for “counseling.” Report back.

    The HSS does not offer counseling they offer drugs like Seroquel. You want some, just ask.

    Seroquel is expensive by the way. You taxpayers are sending a nice amount of money each year to Big Pharma. How is that working?

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  16. Rhombus speaks for many of us that live and work in old town. Leave it to the green bat who is always full of guano to dispute it. yodas momma got frustrated with Isosceles and call him verbana but clearly he is a he and he doesn’t know what its like to be a women getting off of work after dark and have to get to your car or apartment without being accosted.

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  17. I tend to agree with the TE that Chief Mills should release all public info.

    I will only point out that this kind of thing has happened before, and it usually happens when some local big shot has gotten ensnared in cop ops.

    A few years ago DUIs were regularly outed in local media. Until Sundberg got a dui. Then the dui booking shots disappeared for a while. Did you ever see sundbergs mug shot?

    Also there was a booked feature in the TS that disappeared a few years ago, There was a rumor that someone high in eureka city gov had got caught in a 2 street prostie sting. oops.

    So this has happened before…..

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  18. Hmm. I never said there was no “homeless problem.”

    There is a problem of some people not having adequate shelter. We need to give them shelter. That is rational problem solving. People with shelter don’t wander the streets after dark. Not even mentally ill people.

    Of course there are exceptions.

    The real reason you see homeless people wandering after dark is because they have no place to sleep where they feel safe. They feel safer finding a place to sleep during the day, and stay awake at night. It is a survival strategy and for a homeless person it is a rational one. You need not feel threatened merely because a homeless person is wandering at night. They are making rational choices for their own safety. Just as you would.

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  19. Cathy if you say you feel fear I will honor that. Fear informs us. It tells us that something is wrong. Fear is natural.

    The point I am making is that you need not feel quite as afraid as you seem to be. Yes I am a man. I have been assaulted on the streets of Eureka. Punched in the face had a couple of teeth knocked out by a tweaker.

    We are not going to get through life without some scars. Come on.

    We can’t go through life fearing that we are going to die when we step out the door. You are in much more danger at the Mall than you are in a homeless camp. In a homeless camp you will find criminals but you will also find some honor. You are in their home. You will be given hospitality and honored as a guest in most camps. Its a human thing.

    At the mall you are a target for criminals in a target rich environment.
    That’s the most likely place in town for you to be a victim of crime.

    You are being fed a line of bullshit that demonizes homeless people and makes you afraid of them. Don’t be afraid of homeless people lets work on improving the local economy and getting the chronically houseless some shelter.

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  20. I am not afraid of the homeless. And you did state that the EPD had an officer dedicated to the homeless, if there was such a problem, why don’t they have a beat in Old Town, didn’t you? Well, there’s enough crime down there to warrant a police annex that is manned all day long. And hey Anonymous…I wet your momma’s bed, and you go home every night and sleep in it, jerk. Every so often, I stand by myself, in the middle of the night, and give something back to folks who really don’t have anything, be it food, clothing, etc. It gives me an informed perspective on the homeless community that I don’t think you have. Have you ever walked into a homeless camp? I have. There is no honor there. These aren’t the days of the romanticized hobo riding the rails, sitting around a campfire. This honor that you speak of is just them forming commraderies amongst themselves, and believe me, you aren’t a part of the good vibes, there. I am not being fed a line of bullshit. I see things for myself, and assess those things I see. Who’s feeding me? I agree boosting economy is a good idea on a billion levels. I agree on providing better shelter for the chronically homeless. The problem is, there exists a very large group of what you don’t think exists here: mentally ill, homeless criminals who DON’T WANT YOUR HELP. What do you propose about them. Just let them “honorably” camp in the woods where neighborhood children play? The camps where the piles of bottles, garbage, feces, needles, etc. are too numerous to avoid? Where fires are started and left unattended? It’s a freaking health hazzard if nothing else. Don’t pollute the storm drains, right? Have you seen what’s in the actual creeks that drain into the slough and bay? Do you think I’m making this up? This is practically in peoples backyards where I live. If you want to see how much I’m exaggerating, go to the gully on Lucas St. Between Myrtle and Harrison. It’s the most prevalent example I know of, and easily accessible. Go have a gander at that place. It’s far away from Old Town…know why? Because Old Town doesn’t have any vacancies. I live a vibrant life. I help others. I care, and I love. But enough is enough. I shouldn’t have to tolerate it. Call me all the names you want, it doesn’t help, or change a damn thing. Get informed by seeing with your own eyes. If anybody’s being spoon fed rhetoric, it’s you.

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  21. Oh, and about your life scars…so what your saying is, that walking around town with the likelihood of getting our teeth knocked out, or stabbed, or robbed, or raped, or becoming a victim of any number of other violent crimes, is just a part of life and should be tolerated because it somehow gives you character? Really?? Um, I’m not sure if you got the memo, but those are some of the very reasons we have something called LAWS that are punishable by a jury of your peers. Because there is a common thread of thought amongst people that they have the right to not be victimized, that they are safe (generally) from those who would hurt them. I am having a hard time believing that you are living in reality, at this point, and not just mesmerized by your own poor opinions. I wonder how you felt the moment just after your teeth went flying into never never land? What did you do? Did you call the cops? Did you pat the guy on the back and reward him with your home and thank him for your character building life scars? My guess is it was more along the lines of the former, yet what you would have us do is more along the lines of the latter. I also think maybe you should consider calling the police so they can take YOU to Sempervirons. My god, man…get real!

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    • What? You have never stood outside your studio giving out coffee and clothing. Pure lies. It’s an easy way to try and make yourself sound compassionate when you are not.

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  22. “…there exists a very large group of what you don’t think exists here: mentally ill, homeless criminals who DON’T WANT YOUR HELP. What do you propose about them.”

    I’ll admit, I don’t have the answer. But I’m curious — what would you propose? Please note, this is intended as a serious question, not a put-down.

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  23. A few questions:

    What is the total capacity of Semper Virens?
    How many SV beds are vacant on the average night?

    What is the total capacity of residential drug treatment programs in Humboldt?
    How many beds are vacant in drug treatment programs on the average night?

    Now, one more question:

    How many people are there in Humboldt who are both homeless and seriously mentally ill, and/or have a major substance abuse problem?

    I don’t know the precise answers to these questions (if anyone here does, please feel free to fill in the blanks), but I suspect that the basic problem is that there are just way, way more mentally ill and drug-addicted homeless folks than the system has the capacity to address. There isn’t even enough room for those who both need and WANT help, much less all those who may need help, but don’t want it. So as far as the people who aren’t looking for help with their mental health or substance abuse issues, they have to do something fairly extreme before the system will make them a priority. And at that point they are most likely to end up in jail — which is a horrible place for the mentally ill, and a not-very-helpful place for substance abusers.

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  24. Honestly, I don’t have the answers of what to do with folks that want to live homeless. I can’t instill responsibility in them. I am just frustrated, because i really think that there aren’t really any viable answers that makes everybody happy. There are some really nice and friendly homeless folks in our community. Not all the mentally ill are dangerous, some are just lonely because no one wants to talk to them. I wish I had the answers…I’d be one of the first to jump aboard the help wagon. Ashland, Oregon is a sleepy little town not unlike Arcata, and the folks there tried to help their homeless by putting donation boxes all over town for things like food, blankets, tents, etc. a couple of years later, the crime rate skyrocketed along with the homeless population. Pretty soon, they were having to deal with several murders above the almost non-existent norm, and even a serial killer I believe. Point being that giving the homeless a free ride only served to attract more and more homeless looking for their share of the pie, until it became a huge problem for the city. I just don’t think that that is the answer, as Isosceles seems to. I think you have some valid points, but that unfortunately, just as the homeless folk here have to do something extreme to get the care they need, people will also have to take extreme measures to put the problem in a position to actually be able to start to do some good for them. What that might be I don’t know, but don’t mistake what I’m saying about extreme measures to mean trucking them out of town, or using some kind of violence or human rights violations. I’m all for a solution, not just making it go somewhere else. And thank you for being civil this time. I appreciate it.

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  25. Isosceles:

    “There is a big problem with homeless people, many of which are mentally ill, in this town. Open your eyes. Quoting policy, political rhetoric, and stats, isn’t doing you any favors with people like me.”

    First of all, I am not the one who is quoting policy and stats. The Tuluwat Examiner “Staff” is. I am refuting the parts of the “stats” that are misleading and /or bogus. Please feel free to ignore reality in your mix, but some of us are actually trying to understand the real situation. Don’t let any facts get in your way.

    ” I have an art studio half a block from the Gazebo in Old Town. In the day, it’s a bustling hub of business, local retail, and tourism, with a barely visible transient contingent.”

    Well no. Old Town Eureka is rarely a “bustling hub of business” and hasn’t been for 40 years. There are very few tourists there even during the height of “tourist season” which is btw very short in Eureka. What you are suffering from is the complete failure of the tourism model of economic development.

    ” But I spend time in my studio late at night and into the wee hours of morning. During that time, it’s a bustling hub of the homeless and the mentally ill, the majority of which are either alcoholic, or drug addicted, and after the bar scene ends, there are ZERO shoppers and NO businesses open.”

    Really? You are expecting shoppers and open businesses in Old Town after the “bar scene” is over? At 2am you are looking for shoppers?

    “And yet there are HUNDREDS of transients crawling out of the woodwork to roam the streets. There are some nights when I can’t get anything done because literally every five minutes, there is another person digging through the bank of locked dumpsters (that are constantly being broken into despite great efforts to keep them locked) throwing trash all over the place, banging and clanging, yelling and muttering. ”

    When do you see hundreds of people In Old Town? 4th of July, maybe during the free concerts during the summer. Lets get real. If you want to back that down to maybe “dozens” it would be more realistic.

    “Tons of these people are threatening and dangerous, and I know this first hand. Luckily I have never been hurt, but I have had some close calls. Just last week, I heard loud banging outside on the corner of 2nd and F St, and as I watched from my studio window, a man with a large hatchet was shuffling down the street hitting various objects with his weapon, screaming obscenities”\

    How did you handle this?.

    ” I feel for a lot of these folks, and I have stood outside in the middle of the night handing out free coffee and spare coats from my own closet on bitterly cold nights.”

    This is admirable and I thank you for your compassion.

    ” But for you to allude to there not being a homeless problem in this town is ridiculous.”

    I haven’t said that and actually there are homeless people in every community in the US. We are in a fucking depression.

    ” I propose you walk the streets instead of reading blogs. I challenge you to explore the gullies up on Myrtle Avenue, all the way to Lucas St. instead of attending City Council meetings. I challenge you. How about the area behind Bayshore Mall, or the trees off the new trail just south of there? Hell, I fucking DARE you.”

    I have been to every homeless camp in the area. They all know me. I am not afraid.

    There are lots of things in Eureka that are more likely to kill you than a “mentally ill homeless person” maybe we should talk about those things.

    You are much more likely to bill killed by a car in Eureka than a mentally ill person. You are much more likely to die of suicide in Eureka than getting killed by a mentally ill person. You are more likely to die of food poisoning from a restaurant in Eureka than you are of getting killed by a mentally ill person. You are more likely to get killed by a cop in Eureka than almost anywhere.

    We need what is called perspective in this argument. Life has risks. We need to distinguish between what is a real risk and what is highly unlikely.

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  26. “Oh, and about your life scars…so what your saying is, that walking around town with the likelihood of getting our teeth knocked out, or stabbed, or robbed, or raped, or becoming a victim of any number of other violent crimes, is just a part of life and should be tolerated because it somehow gives you character?”

    Where did I say violence should be “tolerated?” I merely stated that I was the victim of an assault and battery on the streets of Eureka. Getting punched in the face is hardly the same as getting stabbed or raped. That’s ridiculous.

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  27. “. I wonder how you felt the moment just after your teeth went flying into never never land? What did you do? Did you call the cops? Did you pat the guy on the back and reward him with your home and thank him for your character building life scars?

    Actually I was pissed. I don’t like getting hit in the face.

    Luckily though I saw the punch coming.

    Have you ever been in a fight? I try not to and I have been in very few but sometimes it happens.

    This guy I knew well enough to know his name. He came walking up to me and got into my space, very close to me and started talking gibberish. He was obviously tweakin,

    I backed up. He came forward and if you have ever been in a fight you know what I am going to tell you. He telegraphed his punch, he hit me with a roundhouse right but I slipped the punch. He hit me hard enough with his sucker punch to send two of my teeth flying like chiclets.

    What did I do? I smiled at him. Because he had just sucker punched me with everything he had and I was still standing there. He ran (sensibly) or I probably would have beat the shit out of him if I could have, and I probably could have. But I was fucking pissed. I had just been hit in the face and my mouth was bleeding.

    The next day I forgave him. He knew not what he did.

    That’s how I felt.

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  28. Rhombus 3:35,

    Anon 1:28 / 2:55 here. Thanks for your response.

    Just so you know, the green gravatar with the batwings is the gravatar everyone gets if they don’t give an e-mail address. 1:28 and 2:55 were my only comments in this thread.

    I very much appreciate your statement that “I’m all for a solution, not just making it go somewhere else.” It seems to me that a big part of the problem is the many communities that do little, if anything, in the hopes of “making it go somewhere else.” And this makes it much harder for those communities that do try to help, because the residents of these communities end up having to shoulder more than their share of the burden, which leads to resentment, and for calls to do less for those in need, in order to encourage those people to go elsewhere — kind of a “race to the bottom” approach.

    I don’t blame you for not having the answers, I don’t either. It’s a large societal problem that cannot be entirely solved by any individual city or county, because (1) it isn’t caused by any individual city or county, and (2) no individual city or county has the resources to tackle the problem alone, when there are other cities and counties that aren’t even really trying.

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  29. Several of the DA candidates have weighed in with the TAP program as a solution . Let’s understand that virtually every county in the USA has something like a TAP program based on the theory that the homeless came from someplace else.

    This is the definition of insanity. The TAP program is a humanitarian program but it won’t solve houselessness in our communities. Houses will solve that problem.

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  30. Anonymous 4:24:

    Which is the value of a blog like this… It gives the opportunity for people of good will (and some without good will) a chance to come together and work out just what the problem is (the first step so often ignored) and then what can be done to solve it.

    We don’t have the answers… yet. But with contributions like yours and others like you it is likely we will come upon on it.

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  31. So I took a look at the stats at neighborhood scout.

    They seem to count Freshwater, Fields Landing and Humboldt Hill and Cutten as part of Eureka when compiling their crime stats, but they still use the denominator of 27,000 to produce their ratios of rates per 100,000. That is an area some times larger than the actual city of Eureka going into the ole numerator.

    Comments?

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  32. I agree with Isosceles that the “Transportation Assistance Program” (aka “the Greyhound Solution”) won’t solve most of the problem, because most homeless folks don’t have a place to go where there is a support system of family and/or friends just waiting to help them, with the only barrier being the lack of a bus ticket. But yes, it can be a useful program for some, and should continue to be offered.

    As far as the problem being “houselessness,” and the statement that “houses will solve that problem,” well, sure — but someone has to buy the property and build the house, and somebody has to pay to heat it and pay the utilities and maintain the house. If the person who moves into the house cannot afford to keep it up, or is to mentally unstable or substance-abuse ravaged to do so, things will go downhill fast.

    For some houseless folks, even if a completely paid-for house was handed to them, left to themselves they’d just trash the place, in many cases just like they trashed the last place they lived. Folks in that category would need a lot more help than just being handed the keys to a house or apartment. Not to say that being handed the keys to a house or apartment wouldn’t be a big improvement (at least temporarily) over their current situation — it would be. But for it to remain that way, they would need additional support.

    For other houseless folks, all they really need is temporary housing and a job with a living wage and they could pull themselves out of the downward spiral they are currently in, and within a few months they could be taking care of themselves, paying their own rent, etc. For those folks the housing itself would be the easier part, it’s getting and holding a living-wage job that is the hard part (due to the weak job market, as well as individual weaknesses like a poor education, weak communication skills, lack of experience, a spotty work history, etc.).

    And then there is the whole range of folks in between, who are capable of living on their own and could work and contribute at least some, but would still need some level of ongoing help.

    So I agree, the solution to “houselessness” is to make it possible for people to live in houses (and apartments)…but for many of those who are currently houseless, there would have to be a lot more to it than just handing them the key.

    I realize reading over this, it’s coming off as very negative. Just to be clear, I’m not against trying to do more, I’m all for it. We need to be real about what it would take to succeed with the more challenging cases, but that doesn’t mean we should throw our hands up and not try.

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  33. Isosceles said: “So I took a look at the stats at neighborhood scout.They seem to count Freshwater, Fields Landing and Humboldt Hill and Cutten as part of Eureka when compiling their crime stats, but they still use the denominator of 27,000 to produce their ratios of rates per 100,000. That is an area some times larger than the actual city of Eureka going into the ole numerator. Comments?”

    My comment is that if you’re correct, then those statistics are indeed seriously misleading, but that you’re probably going to be criticized for pointing it out, and accused of “defending the powers that be” and encouraging people to “put their heads in the sand.” At least that’s the experience I had in the last thread.

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  34. I am encouraging a debate around the facts. I suggest we compare crime data side by side with several cities of similar size in California and maybe coastal Oregon and see where we really stand. Maybe we are high in some categories and lower in others. We need real data. Its there, the numbers just need to be crunched.

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  35. OK the difference between the neighborhood scout and the city data is that they both use the same raw figures but city data quite sensibly adjusts the ratios to reflect the daily flow of population into Eureka to shop and work.

    That’s why Eureka looks far worse in the neighborhood scout data.

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  36. This is where it gets difficult to compare crime data among different cities — at least if the point of the exercise is to determine which cities are doing a “better” or “worse” job of fighting crime.

    There are so many variables. Including this issue of daytime population versus actual residents, but also the issue of how much (if any) of the suburban residential area surrounding the city is included in the data. Unemployment rates and poverty rates are also going to be a factor. And if a city is the county seat, the largest city for hundreds of miles around, and hosts the county jail and most of the county’s social service programs, those are factors that may contribute to the crime rate.

    So I’m not saying comparisons can’t be made, but to really get at whether one city appeared to be doing a better or worse job of fighting crime than similar cities, you’d have to be able to compare cities that are reasonably similar in a number of important ways, not just population size.

    Again, you can certainly look at the raw number of crimes reported, but that may not actually tell you very much about how much that crime rate is due to the city’s good or bad policies, versus how much is due to geographic and socioeconomic factors.

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  37. Paradise CA is an interesting comparison to Eureka in population and Paradise ranks near the middle in “crime” stats on these sites. One notable difference is that the median household income in Paradise is 4K more than in Eureka. Do you think there is a link between poverty and crime?

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  38. Of course the original post was actually about murder rates. According to the USA.com site, here are the number of murders within Eureka city limits in the last few years:

    2005 1
    2006 3
    2007 1
    2008 2
    2009 1
    2010 1
    2011 1
    2012 0

    http://www.usa.com/eureka-ca-crime-and-crime-rate.htm

    2013 ? (Not included in that table…does anyone recall how many there were last year?)

    2014 3…so far.

    If we were to continue at the pace we’ve been on for the first three months of this year, we’d end up with 12 murders this year, more than all 8 years from 2005-2012 combined. On the other hand, if we don’t have any more murders in Eureka this year, we’ll be tied with 2006.

    This is the problem with small numbers like this. Small changes can turn into huge differences when you either start extrapolating, or you try to compare one year to the next. For example, from 2005-2006-2007 we went from 1 murder to 3 murders, so in 2006 one could have accurately said “oh my gosh, the murder rate has tripled in one year!” and then in 2007 “oh my gosh, the murder rate has plummeted by 2/3 in just one year!”

    Nevertheless, my impression is that the average is still pretty high. Yes, because they’re small numbers, they’re going to jump around quite a bit. But for a city the size of Eureka, I’d expect to see more years where the total was zero. And given that we’ve already matched the 3 murders in 2006, but still have nine months to go, it (sadly) wouldn’t be surprising to see us break that record this year (and that’s not a good thing, no matter how you look at the data). If God forbid, that does happen, this still won’t tell us if there’s a trend underway, or just a horrible fluke. We won’t be able to know that until a few more years of data come in. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be concerned, and it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to do whatever we can to help the situation.

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  39. 2000, 1 murder 2001, 5 murders 2002 3 murders, 2003, 1 murder, 2004, 2 murders.

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  40. Actually Anon, we need to be clear. The original 2 posts were not about “murder” but about “You are more likely to get murdered in Eureka than in Los Angeles.”

    That is a claim that is just bunk. Think about it this way.

    The murder rate in LA is 7.8 per 100,000. 100,000 divided by 7,8 means you have one chance in 12,820 of getting murdered.

    The median murder rate in Eureka is one per year. That’s the only number that makes sense over the last 10 years that will give a sample size equivalent to the millions represented in the LA sample. That means over the last 10 years your chance of getting murdered in Eureka is around one in 27,000. This is rigorously provable statistically.

    You are more than twice as likely to get murdered in Los Angeles.

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  41. As far as the other crime stats, where the numbers aren’t so small, two things stand out to me from the table at the USA.com site:

    (1) The crime rates for most categories, in most years, are higher in Eureka than in California in general, in some cases a lot higher. (Of course that’s not all that surprising, given that Eureka is an urban area, while the CA stats include suburbs and rural areas as well, and those setting usually have lower crime rates).

    (2) There doesn’t appear to be any consistent trend of crime increasing in Eureka over the 8 years included in that table (2005-2012). For example, from 2010 -> 2011 -> 2012…

    Rapes went up, then down.
    Robberies went down, then up.
    Assaults went down, then up
    Burglaries went down, then down further.
    Thefts went up, then up further.
    Vehicle thefts went up, then down.
    Arsons went down, then up.

    http://www.usa.com/eureka-ca-crime-and-crime-rate.htm

    The only category that seemed to be trending consistently upward (in other words, more crimes) was “thefts” which, after falling from 1,000 in the year 2005 to 841 in the year 2006, increased every year since, to reach a high of 1430.

    So if that trend continued in 2013 and so far in 2014, that may help explain the feeling that people have that there is some kind of “crime wave” underway. In fact, they’re right to the extent that there has been a consistent upward trend in “thefts.” But it doesn’t really look like there’s been a consistent upward trend in other property crimes, like vehicle theft or burglary, nor in violent crimes like rape or assault (or robbery, which is kind of part violent crime and part property crime).

    So anyway, it seems to me that people are noticing the increase in thefts (which if I have this right would include shoplifting, stealing items out of cars or yards, etc) and this is the actual “crime wave” that we’re experiencing. But while theft is far from the most serious crime, it’s certainly one of the most common, and thus one of the most visible ones. And so the increase in thefts may be coloring people’s perceptions of what they would guess the trend is on those other crimes.

    Bottom line: Theft increased every year from 2006-2012. None of the other categories of crimes did. Looks like we’ve got a “theft wave” on our hands. Which should probably not be surprising, since thefts are exactly the kind of crimes where the the terms “revolving door” and “catch and release” apply most often.

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  42. Isosceles 8:23,

    Good point. I do have one question — why use median instead of mean? (I’m not a statistician or even really a math guy — as is probably painfully obvious — so there may well be a good reason, I’m just curious and would like to know). If we use mean instead of median, then when I add up all those numbers from 2000-2012 I get a total of 22 murders in 13 years, which is an average (mean) of about 1.7 murders per year. And obviously that’s going to yield a somewhat different result when you continue the calculations from there.

    Also, if you’re really trying to compare Eureka to LA, and you’re using the median (or the mean) over 13 years in Eureka, wouldn’t you also want to use the median (of the mean) over 13 years in LA? Because their rate may have gone up or down a bit too? (If it’s stayed about the same all that time then I guess it doesn’t matter).

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  43. I agree with one of the comments above.

    Thirty years of public divestment (since Ronald Reagan), has made our police officers the dumping-ground for situations that they are not trained to handle.

    Diminished services are causing disasters in poverty, hunger, homelessness, mental illness and drug addiction. And it only gets occasional coverage.

    It is shocking how there hasn’t been a single media report about how this community is processing children and from what I hear, they are also the responsibility of police that have zero training, handcuffing kids and dumping them into Sempervirens.

    Treating ill, distraught, suicidal, homeless, hungry, PTSD children like criminals has predictable and very negative outcomes.

    That’s why other cities have Mobile Response Teams with trained professionals that can deflate situations without incarceration so that police can do what they’re trained for.

    But, this is a community without informative community media. No one knows exactly how many children are being processed by police, how they are being processed, what the circumstances are, or the outcomes…same for adults facing mental, drug, or homeless problems.

    If media reported a fraction of the needs not being met in this community, citizens would be demanding that the zoo be limited to local species so that we could fund a Mobile Response Team for emergency calls handling children, mental illness, homelessness, and drug issues.

    Imagine what “civilization” might look like.

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  44. Anonymous 11:13:

    I agree wholeheartedly with you, until you get to the zoo.

    I know, I’m a simpleton who likes fuzzy little animals. But why does it always have to be either/or? (And I also note, you said limit the zoo to local species, not eliminate the zoo all together.)

    But that is an important part of the problem. You pay for this because it is important to you, you pay for that because it is important to you, etc. Then, when something like public safety gets out of hand, which of the things you like are you going to do away with?

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  45. “…citizens would be demanding that the zoo be limited to local species so that we could fund a Mobile Response Team…”

    Not sure I’m following the reasoning there — is the zoo paying big bucks to acquire exotic species, and that’s where the (future) savings would come from, not having to make those purchases? Or are local species that much cheaper to care for? It seems to me like most of the zoo’s upkeep and staff costs would be about the same whether the animals are exotic or local…am I wrong about that?

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  46. “Good point. I do have one question — why use median instead of mean?”

    Statisticians use the median instead of the mean (arithmetic average) because when you have small samples and some outliers in the data sample because it can provide a better picture of reality.

    A simple example would be a town where 9 people make $1 per day and one person makes $100 per day. The average income for the town is $10.90 per day per person. The median income in the town is $1 per day. Both figures are true but one gives a better picture of reality.

    So we are just comparing last years data. The median murder rate in Eureka is 1, and it will be so for a few more years, even if we are in a period of change.

    Even though there has been a spike in the first three months this year, what stats tell us is that the median murders over the next 12 months will be 1.

    That’s what stats can tell us. They don’t predict the future.

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  47. Good explanation — thanks.

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  48. Again, Eureka has the problems that accompany a city of 60,000+ due to the attached, unincorporated populations. We would have a better understanding of all the local statistics, and the funding we might be eligible for, and a greatly expanded political arena, if they were rightfully incorporated.

    Until that takes place, Eureka’s police will remain underfunded, understaffed and poorly trained to handle statistics that set records for “a town of 28,000”, which it is not!

    A Mobile Response Team for homeless, addiction, mentally ill, and youth emergency calls that plague law-enforcement would partly pay for itself in reduced police responses, reduced incarceration, and reduced admissions to mental health and ER rooms.

    Until then, it is disgusting and irrational to support a $700,000 expenditure for a certified zoo “for the children” knowing that one in six children face food insecurity, suffering PTSD from poverty, homelessness, drug and foster care abuse, handcuffed and locked-down for “acting out”. When was the last time a reporter asked if taxpayers are funding solitary confinement for kids? (Hell, there hasn’t been a single article reporting local statistics for the record number of foreclosures still taking place since the 2008 economic collapse! Just more headlines of abandoned dog litters, abused horses and petty crime).

    Extreme ignorance of unreported and uncomfortable public realities is the only thing keeping a certified zoo in operation in a city that cannot afford to FIRST ensure that the most basic needs for children, and their parents, are being met.

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  49. There would be a lot of political benefits for Eureka if it grew naturally through annexing these contiguous areas.

    The real size of Greater Eureka is certainly around 50,000. Ballpark.

    Right now Eureka ranks with Atwater, Granite Bay, Ridgecrest, Rosemont, Sanger, Imperial Beach etc. etc. You know there is nothing wrong with being in that group of smaller cities but

    if Eureka showed on the maps as a bigger circle (equal in size to Rocklin, Novato, Cerritos, Hacienda Heights our state wide political clout would rise.

    We might even elect a few state wide officials from here. Our state and federal officials might even pay attention to our issues.

    Annexing these areas would boost our political clout statewide greatly. That would be good for all of us, right left and in the middle.

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  50. If it turned out that post annexation Eureka had a pop of 55,000 it would be equal in size to San Rafael or Petaluma or La Mesa or Santa Cruz.

    All pretty much with the stroke of a pen.

    That is a big move on the California political landscape.

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  51. And a move that terrifies the status-quo that has never lost control over elected and appointed offices.

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  52. Pingback: Andy Mills wants Eureka to forget all about the 18th St Gang | Tuluwat Examiner

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