Despite two years of elevated murder rates nationwide, slayings here are down even though violent crime as a whole is not.
California once again saw an increase in violent crime, including murders, rapes, robberies and assaults.
Throughout Stanislaus County and the Northern San Joaquin Valley, property crimes from 2015 to 2016 dropped.
These small bumps aside, the number of violent crime in the United States remains well below the level of 1.42 million reported a decade ago, when the rate was 471 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in the country. Meanwhile, California and USA homicide rates remained near their low point in the past half century.
The number of violent crimes across the country is up for the second consecutive year, due in part to a spike in homicides seen throughout Chicago last year. But the two years of increases resulted in a more than 20% increase in the national homicide rate since 2014, the justice department said in a press release accompanying the Federal Bureau of Investigation figures.
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The rate of violent crime in 2016 was 0.5% lower than it was in 2012 and 18% lower than in 2007.
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Last week, Chicago authorities announced they were deploying 100 additional police officers on the streets, as the city recorded its 500th homicide for the year.
In addition, when violent crimes are mixed in with property crimes like burglary and theft, the total crime rate dropped 1.3 percent in 2016, continuing a 15-year trend of decreasing overall crime rates.
John Pfaff, a professor at Fordham University Law School, cautioned that crime is a complex, geographically concentrated phenomena, and that it can't simply be attributed to how many people are or aren't being sent to prison. The number of murders in those large cities also soared, by the largest degree between population centers, increasing 20.3% from 2015 to 2016. "When you proactively go after those who commit violent crime, the positive net effect is a reduction in violent crime".
"It suggests that what we're seeing nationwide might not be a nationwide crime wave, which some have falsely suggested", he said.
Analysts said the numbers do not add up to any clear trend in recent years.
In South Dakota, the state attorney general had earlier released its report showing the state bucks the national trend when it comes to homicides. Sessions has vowed to confront what he called "the rising tide of violent crime in America".