On Friday, April 16, Sandra McBrayer from The Children's Initiative, a local nonprofit agency that "works to improve the well being of children and youth" in the county, presented the San Diego County report card on children and families to the Public Safety Committee for San Diego Association of Governments.
Made up of elected officials and public safety officials from around San Diego County, the Public Safety Committee listened as McBrayer presented data from law enforcement agencies, school district documents, and hospital records to give public officials some insight on the health and wellbeing of children living in San Diego County.
The report, which gives recommendations on ways to improve school attendance, decrease juvenile crime, and reduce alcohol-related car accidents for underage drivers, was presented to the county board of supervisors during a meeting on February 9.
One graph included in the report card was entitled "Child Victim of Violent Crimes." The graph showed that in 2008 the majority of violent crimes perpetrated on children under the age of 17, including robbery, aggravated assault, rape, and murder, occurred between the hours of 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. After 4 p.m., the number of violent crimes decreased from 506 to 342 between 9 p.m. and midnight. The data was collected from the Automated Regional Justice Information System, a system used by justice agencies in San Diego and Imperial counties to share information on regional crime.
Despite already reviewing the data at the February 9 meeting, chair of the county board of supervisors Pam Slater-Price questioned the numbers used for the graph.
"So, the county is in the process of adopting a curfew ordinance, much like the City of San Diego," said Slater-Price after the presentation. On March 2, Supervisor Slater-Price and her colleagues enacted a new county ordinance making it illegal for minors to be out past ten o'clock.
"We were being told that there's actually a spike [in violent crimes] after ten o'clock," said Slater-Price.
The county supervisor appeared baffled at the conflicting data from McBrayer: "It seemed to be that before ten o'clock was better than after ten, yet this [data] seems to refute that."
McBrayer informed Slater-Price that she would provide her with more details on the times of day when minors are most at risk of becoming victims of violent crimes.
In the meantime, San Diego County officials are notifying communities throughout the county of the curfew ordinance.