A friend of mine runs a small business in Downtown Santa Ana, over at what they now call the East End Promenade. The other day he saw a drug dealer working nearby so my friend called the Downtown security guards and they came over and rousted the guy. Before long the drug dealer was back so this time my friend called the police. They knew nothing about any of this. And the truth dawned on my friend – the security guards in the Downtown are not passing their reports along to the Santa Ana Police Department.
Why should they? They report directly to Ryan Chase, the son of Downtown Santa Ana landlord Irv Chase. So of course they don’t give their reports to the police – but what this means is that the Santa Ana Police Department’s crime statistics are way off. Most of the incidents going on in Downtown Santa Ana, at night, are not being reported to the cops. The Downtown Inc. crowd is essentially cooking the crime books.
I have personally run into this issue. I brought my family to Downtown Santa Ana for an Art Walk a few years ago and a homeless guy was stalking my daughter so I complained to the security guards. They dragged him off and that was that. But you know what? No one called the cops. There was no police report. The incident just disappeared.
Does this matter? You bet. Councilman David Benavides wants to see more bars open up in the Downtown area. So he and his allies will trot out the SAPD crime statistics and argue that crime is going down. Not it isn’t. But for several years now the Downtown Inc. security guards have been tossing plenty of trouble under the rug. And they aren’t the only ones obscuring crime statistics in Santa Ana…
It turns out that Santa Ana’s Police Department is the only one out of America’s largest 50 police departments that doesn’t have an RMS – Records Management System – they are still keeping paper records and that too is contributing to lower crime statistics in our city.
We publish a Daily Santa Ana crime report every day and that report indicates that 20-35 crimes happen every day in Santa Ana. But now we know that these figures are way off. Who knows how many crimes are really taking place in Santa Ana?