This letter is in response to Mitch Deacon's front-page article on August 23 about crime in the Victor Valley area.

It is important to understand that the crime statistics listed in the graphic associated with Deacon's article show a very narrow (snapshot) view of crime in our area, and do not accurately represent the actual conditions present in our High Desert communities.

The crime numbers merely compared the total number of reported "serious crimes" in the four major cities of the Victor Valley for the month of July 2006 with those of July 2007. For Hesperia, those numbers were 201 versus 234. However, the same statistical comparison for the month of March (2006 v. 2007) reveals that the "serious crime" number was unchanged - at 214.

Which comparison has more meaning? Neither. Crime statistics must be collected, measured, compared, and evaluated over long periods of time in order to produce meaningful information that can be used to make long-term public safety plans.

A result of the article may be that the community's "increased perception of crime," as cited by Deacon, may well have been enhanced by the way the numbers were presented. That is unfortunate.

The Victor Valley area is experiencing a time of unprecedented growth. It is a very challenging and dynamic time for everyone. Law enforcement agencies, in cooperation with city and county officials, have made considerable progress in expanding and increasing the law enforcement services available to the High Desert community. Much is left to do, but I am very optimistic about the future and believe we all stand ready to meet the challenge.