Despite a still-growing population, crime in Hesperia is going down, according to the city's top cop.


San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department Captain Lance Clark, who runs the Hesperia sheriff's station, shared the statistics at Monday's meeting of the Hesperia Chamber of Commerce.


Since 2007, the total number of calls for service to the Hesperia station has fallen from 72,897 to 68,956 in 2009. During the same period, Part I crimes (the most serious sorts of crime) fell from 2,774 in 2007 to 2,238 in 2009 and Part II crimes fell from 6,825 to 6,377. And that occurred while the city's population was growing, not shrinking, from 85,876 residents in 2007 to 88,184 in 2009.


That puts Hesperia ahead of Victorville in both types of crime. Hesperia's neighbor to the north has 21,000 more residents (an estimated total of 109,441), and had 5,719 Part I crimes and 11,865 Part II crimes in 2009.


Hesperians' safety also extends to their roads: The sheriff's station investigated 1,078 traffic collisions in 2007. Two years later, and with almost 3,000 more residents, that number dropped to 583 collisions thanks, according to Clark, to more aggressive traffic law enforcement by the deputies.


The city's current station is a former convenience store on Santa Fe Avenue, but in September, the department will move into a newly built station adjacent to Hesperia Civic Plaza Park, behind city hall.


"We're actually at the point where we can take a breath and enjoy the fruits of our labor, so to speak," Clark said. "It's gonna be a gem. We're so grateful that the city's initiated this project and let us be a part of it."


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star