BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Kern County’s Homicide rate rose to an all time high throughout the pandemic but things have changed for 2022.

Last year had the lowest number of confirmed homicides since the start of the pandemic, by about 40 fewer deaths to be exact.

Throughout the pandemic, Kern County saw a spike in homicides but things were different in 2022. In that year, Kern saw 97 confirmed homicides.

That’s about a 30% drop since Kern’s all time high of 140 in 2020. Even in 2021 that number only slightly dropped. It came down to 136.

The confirmed 97 homicides in 2022, come very close to Kern’s pre-pandemic level. In 2019, 95 homicides were recorded. The 97 homicides in 2022 were lower than the recorded homicides for 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Of the 97 homicides in 2022, 73 were shootings, eight were stabbings, six were officer-involved shootings, seven were classified as other and three are still under investigation.

Law enforcement agencies announced they’ve made arrests for less than half of the 97 homicides in 2022. Updates from these agencies have been slow. 

Kern’s homicides are split across multiple law enforcement agencies. In 2022, the leading agencies with the most homicide investigations was the Kern County Sheriff’s Office with 47, the Bakersfield Police Department with 39, the McFarland Police Department with three, the Delano Police department with two, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) with two, Ridgecrest Police Department with two and a few other agencies with one homicide each.

However, there are still three unconfirmed deaths. KCSO, Delano PD, and CDCR each have an unconfirmed case.

The last couple of years Kern County saw high homicide rates but with 2022 we might be seeing a decreasing trend moving forward.