KERN COUNTY, Calif. — Kern County homicide numbers are down for the first time in four years, according Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer.
According to the Zimmer, Kern County saw 90 homicides in 2019, a drop from the 101 homicides in 2018.
However, the Kern County Coroner's Office disputes some of these numbers. Although the coroner's count still shows a drop in homicides, they reported 96 homicides for this year.
23ABC New also disputed some numbers. According to our records, in 2018 the total number of homicides was 116.
The D.A.'s office said that these differences stem from what the Department of Justice includes in their homicide count. The DOJ does not include officer-involved shootings or traffic-related homicides in their homicide reporting.
The D.A.'s office pulls their numbers from the DOJ which could account for the discrepancies.
Homicides in Kern County have been on the rise every year since 2014, according to the DOJ. The DOJ said there were 59 homicides in 2014, 64 homicides in 2015, 88 homicides in 2016, 89 homicides in 2017 and 101 homicides in 2018.
The DOJ will release their annual report on 2019 homicide numbers in July 2020, but preliminary number from the D.At.'s office show an 11% drop.
The District Attorney's Office also noted that some of the 90 homicides in 2019 could be classified as justifiable homicides, potentially dropping the total number of criminal homicides even more.