Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama says it is a priority to work on domestic violence numbers and retail theft.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As Fresno heads into the new year, city leaders hope they can continue a trend of falling crime.
On Friday, Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama said Fresno homicides were down last year by over 40% compared to 2022.
"Our shootings are down this year, from last year, by 19.8%," Balderrama also said.
Data shared by the department also shows other types of violent crime fell, too. The city saw a drop in shootings, commercial and residential burglaries, rapes, and robberies.
"We do have an estimated 22-25,000 gang members in our community, and we know a lot of the violent crime is connected to our gang members," Balderrama said. "Gang shootings were reduced this year by 31.69%."
That drop in crime here in the Valley matches a nationwide trend, even outperforming some other California cities.
ABC News reports that the national homicide rate likely fell by 13% in 2023.
On the West Coast, preliminary data shows that homicides were down or stayed the same across the board.
In Los Angeles, they fell by 11%. In Phoenix, homicides were down by 15%.
Albuquerque and Las Vegas saw significant drops, too.
Just west of the Valley in San Francisco, though, there was no change.
ABC News is reporting homicides stayed the same there.
But as preliminary data suggests progress, many people say crime in their community is worse.
In a November Gallup poll, more than half of Americans said there is more crime in their immediate area.
That feeling comes as videos of brazen California smash-and-grabs seem to flood social media. It comes as news of local shootings continues.
Back in Fresno, Balderrama says he knows crime has a real impact, even if it's falling.
The chief says his department has work to do in some areas.
"Traffic safety is public safety," he said. "And right now, we've got about a 10% reduction in traffic fatalities. But that's not enough. You know, we have to do more. And that's going to be an emphasis next year."
Balderrama says it is a priority to work on domestic violence numbers and retail theft throughout the city.
He also says reducing auto theft is a big issue.
He will be on Action News Live at Three on Tuesday for his only sit-down interview about the end-of-year stats.