Major drop in East Palo Alto crime reported

But 'We're not declaring victory,' police official says in continuing anti-crime efforts

Homicides and shootings in East Palo Alto decreased by half this year compared to 2009, according to figures released Tuesday by the Police Department.

With three days remaining until the end of the year, East Palo Alto officers have responded to 39 shootings in 2010, down 54 percent from the 85 total shootings reported in 2009, according to police Capt. Carl Estelle.

The city also experienced four homicides this year compared to eight in 2009, which Estelle called a "great accomplishment."

"We're not declaring victory and saying we're done," Estelle said today. "Don't get me wrong; we've still got a lot of work to do."

The department reported that 2010 saw the lowest homicide rate in East Palo Alto since 1999, when just one homicide occurred in the city. There were 15 in 2005, Estelle said.

All four homicides in 2010 remain unsolved, Estelle said.

"We've got leads, but they're still outstanding," he said.

Chief Ron Davis attributed the decrease in gun violence and murder to the "community and police working together to implement progressive prevention, intervention and enforcement programs."

Some of the programs included a parole re-entry program that served more than 150 parolees in 2010; the citywide deployment of the ShotSpotter gunshot detection system; and increased staffing.

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