Seventeen seconds.


That seemingly small improvement in average response time may sound insignificant, but it's enabling Hesperia sheriff's deputies to better serve residents in distress, according to Capt. Lance Clark, commander of the Hesperia Police Station.


Clark talked about the current status of the station during the Hesperia Chamber of Commerce's monthly luncheon last month at the Hesperia Golf and Country Club.


From 2003 to 2008, Hesperia's population grew from 67,800 to 87,820, Clark said. During that same period the number of deputies were increased from 26 to 42. Calls for service went up from 1,850 to 2,115, while arrests increased from 1,890 to 2,911 last year.


"Some of the trends look good. Some of the trends not so good," Clark said.


Approximately one-sixth of crimes are committed by non-resident gang members who commit crimes in Hesperia then leave.


The station also is seeing an increase in certain crimes since the economic downturn, he said.


Two years ago, he established five key goals to continue meeting the demands. Soon the station will sponsor a youth boxing program at the Epicentre to help re-direct at-risk teens, Clark said.