BENICIA -- The city posted its lowest crime rate in nearly three decades last year, the Police Department's annual report reveals.
Major offenses in Benicia dropped by 3.2 percent, from 432 in 2012 to 421 last year, according to the report released Thursday. The drop marked the third consecutive year crime has fallen in the city of about 28,000 residents.
"This year has been one of continuing success," police Chief Andrew Bidou wrote in the report. "Building upon the department's established practices and reputation, we have created innovative partnerships with other organizations both within and outside of our community, and enhanced our ability to fight crime and deliver service."
Benicia's crime rate is the lowest among Solano County cities. In November, Benicia was named one of California's 50 safest cities by Safewise, a company that reviews home security systems and provides community safety tips.
The city placed 40th on the list, which was based on the latest FBI crime data and other factors, such as public safety initiatives in recent years.
"I think it's just a testament to the hard work of the men and women of the Police Department and to the citizens," Lt. Frank Hartig said. "The collaboration between the Police Department and the community is a partnership we cherish and embrace."
The department staffs 32 sworn officers, including the chief and three lieutenants. Budget cuts in recent years have trimmed the force by two officers.
While the city realized its lowest crime rate in more than 27 years, the number of adult arrests increased slightly from 521 in 2012 to 523 last year. Juvenile arrests rose from 92 to 97, and calls for service also increased from 12,904 to 13,129.
Last year, the city recorded four rapes, eight robberies, 18 aggravated assaults, 134 burglaries, 199 larceny cases, 50 stolen vehicles and eight arson cases, according to city crime data.
Benicia's last homicide was in 2011.