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Lancaster creates its own police department to fight crime

The city of Lancaster now has its own Police Department.

Mayor R. Rex Parris on Tuesday named former Public Safety Director Rodrick Armalin to lead the new department as its first Police Chief.

The area, located in the Antelope Valley, is part of the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD). The city of Lancaster has 170,000 inhabitants and about 20% live below the poverty line, according to the 2020 Census data.

The city reported that the announcement of the new Lancaster Police Department will have “a hybrid community-led policing model in partnership with the LASD as a dual force to reinforce Lancaster’s public safety infrastructure.”

The new police department will focus on “new prevention programs to get ahead of the safety issues facing the community,” while the LASD will focus on “major crimes,” according to the release.

The city of Lancaster had a 171% increase in homicides in the first half of the year comparing data from 2022 and 2023, according to a LASD report. In addition, car theft increased by 17% in the same period. However, other crimes such as intentional burning and general robberies had slight decreases.

“Our partnership with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department remains strong and invaluable, and together, we are committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of our residents,” Mayor Parris said in a statement.

Armalin, Lancaster’s new police chief, has 34 years of experience working in law enforcement and was previously the police chief of Sierra Madre, the city said.

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Source: NBC Los Angeles

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