The Santa Maria Police Department is reporting an increase in gun-related crime in 2021.
So far this year, police say they've received 116 reports of firearms being discharged. That's up from 51 firearm discharge incidents in 2020 and 39 in 2019.
There have been 25 incidents in which someone was injured by gunfire and five firearm-related homicides, according to police.
Incidents: Firearm Discharge
Incidents: Person Shot
*2021 data through 12/29/21
Source: Santa Maria Police Department
SMPD officials say they're taking steps to reduce gun-related crime in the city, including installing license plate reader cameras, improving the crime lab's capability to process firearm evidence, and hiring a crime analyst to study crime data and patterns.
Police say they're also focusing on identifying violent offenders and seizing illegal firearms through search warrants and probation checks.
On December 14, Santa Maria police and other law enforcement agencies conducted multiple compliance checks on people who were on probation or parole. According to police, the operation resulted in two arrests and the seizure of one illegally-possessed handgun and a high-capacity ammunition magazine.
They also reportedly discovered that one of the people who was searched had recently been injured in a previously un-reported shooting.
Police say they've seized a total of 101 firearms as evidence in 2021, up from 77 firearms in 2020 and 87 in 2019.