SAN PABLO -- This 30,000-resident city enjoyed a banner year for public safety in 2013, which marked the first time since 1986 that not a single homicide was recorded, according to San Pablo Police Department statistics released Friday.

"The city continues to see violent crime trending downward," City Manager Matt Rodriguez said in a news release. "This ... reflects significant public investment by the City Council in emerging technologies along with effective proactive community policing to engage residents in assisting the Police Department in solving major crimes."

The zero homicide number is a significant drop from 2012, when seven people were killed in the city.

Property crime reports were down 20 percent last year, and violent crime down 27 percent, according to police statistics.

Overall, crime numbers in 2013 were the lowest on record, according to department statistics, which date to 1985.

Police Chief Walt Schuld, who is set to retire in May, could not be reached for comment Friday. During an interview last month, Schuld credited improved community engagement, proactive police work and surveillance tools deployed throughout the city.

"We have the right formula for reducing crime," Schuld said in December. "We are out there, visible, and solving crimes and making arrests with a mix of traditional police work and enhanced technology."

A Bay Area News Group investigation published in November found that San Pablo solved 92 percent of its homicide cases since 2006, the highest rate in the Bay Area.

Surveillance technologies used in the city include ShotSpotter gunshot audio-detection systems, automatic license plate readers that spot stolen vehicles and remote controlled cameras.

San Pablo's crime improvements mirror a larger trend in the region. Oakland saw a 30 percent reduction in homicides and a slight drop in overall violent crime in 2013. San Jose reported 44 killings, a drop of two from 2012, and San Francisco's homicides fell from 69 to 48.

Police in neighboring Richmond, where violence has historically spilled over into San Pablo, reported 16 homicides in 2013, the lowest total in that city since 1980.

Other notable crimes on the decline in San Pablo included a 30 percent drop in reported robberies and a 17 percent decline in burglaries.

Contact Robert Rogers at 510-262-2726 or rrogers@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/SFBaynewsrogers.