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Lompoc Police officers investigate reported stabbings in the 100 block of North M Street on July 6.

Violent crime in Lompoc increased 33.5% — or from 218 to 291 reported incidents — from 2018 to 2019, including a sharp rise in homicides and aggravated assaults, according to national crime statistics released in September.

The data show crimes recorded by the Lompoc Police Department that were included in the FBI's 2019 Uniform Crime Reporting statistics released on Sept. 29. 

The 2019 statistics did not include Santa Maria Police Department because a new radio dispatch system was installed and crime data past September was not recorded, according to an SMPD spokeswoman. 

Last year's uptick in violence in a city of approximately 43,000 has prompted city leaders to find ways to increase funding to the Lompoc Police Department. 

Voters in March passed Measure I, which boosts sales tax by 1% — from 7.75% to 8.75% — over the next 15 years to generate up to $5 million per year for the General Fund. The measure is meant to maintain and improve public services, including for the police and fire departments, although measure funds will be used primarily to help pay down a $90 million tab owed to state pension accounts. 

In Lompoc, the most notable figure is the rise in homicides, which increased from one to seven, or 600%, between 2018 and 2019, according to statistics.

The killings include two teenagers, a 15-year-old male and a 17-year-old female, whose death remains unsolved; and a 26-day-old infant. 

Three killings were gang-related, including the shooting death of 22-year-old Marlon Brumfield, an Army solider visiting home while on leave, near the intersection of West Ocean Avenue and A Street, according to the Lompoc Police Department. 

District 4 City Council member-elect Jeremy Ball, whose district borders just west of the area where Brumfield was killed, is eyeing the local cannabis industry as a possible funding source for public safety resources. 

Additionally, Ball has been in talks with a group called Cahoots, an Oregon-based nonprofit co-founded by the Eugene Police Department that supplies mental health resources to law enforcement agencies. 

"[Funding] resources are always an issue, but we must consider other options," Ball said.

In Lompoc aggravated assaults rose from 159 in 2018 to 223 in 2019, or an increase of 40.25%.

Both rapes and arsons increased slightly from 2018 to 2019. Rapes increased from 26 to 29, or 12%; while arsons went from 14 to 18, or a 29% increase from one year to the next, statistics show. 

Robberies remained steady at 32 from 2018 to 2019. 

Property crimes increased from 951 to 1,057, an increase of 11.2%, from 2018 to 2019, according to statistics.

Motor vehicle thefts also rose sharply, increasing from 144 to 236, or 64%, in the same time period.

Larcenies/thefts, however, dropped from 629 to 583, or a decrease of 7.31%, from 2018 to 2019, according to statistics.

Across Santa Barbara County, violent crime decreased from 232 to 229, or a 1.3% decrease, from 2018 to 2019.

Murder in the unincorporated part of the county dropped from two to three, or a 33% decrease, while robbery decreased from 26 to 22, or 15.38%. Aggravated assault dropped from 187 to 179, or a decrease of 4.28%; while arson decreased from 8 to 3, or a 63% decrease.

Additionally, property crimes in Santa Barbara County dropped from 1,257 to 1,208 incidents, or a 3.9% decrease, from 2018 to 2019.

Larcenies/thefts decreased from 938 to 848, or 10%, from 2018 to 2019, according to the Uniform Crime Reporting statistics.

Reported rapes, however, more than doubled from 17 to 35, or a 105% increase, from 2018 to 2019, according to statistics.

Burglaries and motor vehicle thefts also increased in the same time period.

Burglaries increased from 305 to 336, or 10.2%, from 2018 to 2019, while motor vehicle thefts rose from 14 to 24, or an increase of 71.4%.