Fortuna Crime on the Rise?

Fortuna Police Department FPD Blur 2The Fortuna Police Department Crime Prevention Unit recently released FOPD’s quarterly statistics (January – April) for 2016.

The following graphs are from the Fortuna Police Department Crime Prevention Unit Facebook page.


Not surprising, calls from service have increased from 2015 stats.  At a recent Council Workshop, Chief Dobberstein said the 15 FOPD officers (including the Chief and Lieutenant) handle approximately 56 calls for service each day.  In 2015, they handled a total of 20,250 calls.  If the numbers stay consistent, we can expect this number to keep increasing.  13227608_592001560949978_4743212936440760361_o

Total arrests for the current quarter are down.  Possible reasons include the consequences of Prop 47 as well as lower officer productivity due to staffing issues.  When staffing is not sufficient, officers are faced with reactive, rather than proactive policing options.  This is a problematic area Chief Dobberstein stressed at several Eel Valley Crime Stoppers meetings. The total arrests include those subjects transported to jail as well as released with a notice to appear.


Property crimes show a decrease in this quarter.  With the passing of Prop 47, the following areas were reduced to misdemeanors:

  • Shoplifting, where the value of property stolen does not exceed $950
  • Grand theft, where the value of the stolen property does not exceed $950
  • Receiving stolen property, where the value of the property does not exceed $950
  • Forgery, where the value of forged check, bond or bill does not exceed $950
  • Fraud, where the value of the fraudulent check, draft or order does not exceed $950
  • Writing a bad check, where the value of the check does not exceed $950
  • Personal use of most illegal drugs

Many in law enforcement feel this leads to thieves basically receiving a slap on the hand for crimes that used to send them to jail. Because of the known little consequences for their negative actions you can still see quite a bit of property theft.  Also, reflecting back at the FOPD bulletins from last year, there was a handful of subjects responsible for numerous petty thefts around town.  Now that these people have moved on or are otherwise out of the equation, the numbers going down.

Fortuna Parks have been hit hard with vandalisms this year.  Arson and other damage has been reported to both Rohner and Newburg parks.

And here’s an interesting press release issued by California Police Chief’s Association detailing out the aftermath of Prop 47 and it’s relation so property crime.



With the increase of assaults and robberies, as indicated in this chart, some can attributed to the passing of Prop 47.  When suspects know that the time doesn’t necessarily serve the crime, they are more apt to forego the law.  There is also a  huge opiate and meth issue in Humboldt that touches Fortuna as well, causing additional related crimes. It’s a vicious circle where drug abuse, theft and violence rotate around.


Traffic offenses are way up and the incidence of traffic accidents have increased as well. Two new officers, in addition to several grants earmarked towards related traffic violations (cell phone use, seat-belt usage, DUI prevention, etc.), seem to have potentially boosted numbers. However, the “Traffic Related” category covers not only citations but traffic related incidents as well. Drive safe-r Fortuna!

To see more about Fortuna stats as well as other cities in Humboldt (or throughout California), you can visit the CA Department of Justice (DOJ) site.  It currently houses stats from 2005-2014.  Each month, police agencies are required to report their statistics to the State of California DOJ and the results are compiled on this website.





  • And it’s only going to get worse. The homeless drug addicts, drug dealers and mentally ill do not want help. They only want to help themselves – to your stuff. I see a LOT of them on the street and with them wanting a handout without having to work for anything is already making Humboldt County crime go through the roof. That’s why gun sales are at an all time high, not just because of liberals wanting to disarm you. I keep a gun nearby all the time because of the crime. I had 5 attempts on my home in the past few months and having a gun in hand in plain sight made them stop and leave my home alone. Time to move out of this pit.

  • I just came back from redway saw more bums than usual devil playground zombies moving in down there it’s gonna be bum slum war grounds over prim turf the resident bums are gonna be pissed .Gonna be alot more ripping off .poor garb and redway

  • I saw a similar report, which put the blame where it belonged, the release of criminals who victimize others under the bill that doesn’t know a victimless crime from a crime crime.

    • Yes, it seems that “advocates” get so caught up in what they are doing that they lose sight of the forest do to the trees.

  • Why is the answer always lets raise or add more taxes. I truly feel the working class is so so tired of this….. Let’s research other areas like seeing who might need to take a pay decrease in upper upper management cut back there budget or expenses. Within our own house hold we make cut backs constantly. We don’t get to add a tax increase… Let’s shift to cannabis it’s happening it’s going to happen let’s see how we can make a negative a positive for our community. It seems to be working for other counties take a look at Mendocino they have added to there Law Enforcement By different handling on medical grows etc…. I’m tired of the struggle working class having to constantly pay for the broken system …….

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