(CALMATTERS) – We know that homicides in California jumped 31% in 2020, but what about in 2021? Those statistics haven’t yet been released, breaking the state attorney general’s pattern from 2015 to 2021 of publishing reports in early July on the prior year’s crime data, according to a Monday letter Republican Assemblymember Tom Lackey of Palmdale sent Attorney General Bonta. “Legislators, researchers, local agencies and our constituents rely on this data to make informed policy decisions about crime and public safety in California,” Lackey wrote. “With only one month left in the legislative session, it is imperative that we are able to account for the latest trends in crime and public safety as we consider significant reforms to the criminal justice system.”
- Asked when Bonta’s office plans to release the 2021 crime report, a spokesperson told me in an email “we’re working to get the reports out as quickly as possible.” The spokesperson added that the office is helping law enforcement agencies secure approval for upgraded record management systems so they can submit crime data into a new federal database, and “this ongoing transition has impacted the collection of data and release of the annual crime reports this year.” The spokesperson said the state’s own system was certified by the FBI earlier this year.
- Meanwhile, the Department of Justice’s public online data portal is still offline more than a month after it briefly published the personal identifying information of more than 240,000 concealed carry weapon license applicants. “We are working to bring the site back online as soon as possible,” the spokesperson wrote. “At this moment, we do not have an update on timing as to when (the portal) will be back online.” Bonta’s office is conducting an internal investigation into the data release, and Republican lawmakers have also called for an independent state audit.