D.A. Cynthia Zimmer explains why they were encouraged by a decline in the homicide rate in 2019

In 2019, homicides in Kern County declined for the first time in four years. "We were so encouraged," said District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer. But 2020 has changed that. Now, homicides have reached an all-time high across the county. "Historically, chiefs of police, sheriffs don't take credit when the homicide rate goes down, because they know next year they're going to have to explain why it went back up." said Sheriff Donny Youngblood. In 2019 there were 99 total homicides in Kern County. This year, we've seen 136 so far, that's an increase of 37 percent compared to last year.