STOCKTON (CBS13) — A new strategic plan in Stockton lays out a two-year guideline in hopes of reducing crime and making the quality of life better in the city.
The police department says crime is down, but there is still work to be done. For a decade, the narrative in Stockton has been one of fear and violent crime but, the police department says they’re now seeing a change with a massive drop in the number of homicides in 2018.READ MORE: Video Released Of Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting Of Tahoe Park Resident Who Shot At Authorities
Long-time neighbors in Stockton tell CBS13 they know crime. At one point, gang violence earned Stockton the title of the “murder capital of California.”
Now, Stockton Police are at work laying out a strategic plan to cut down on violence. The plan is a blueprint for peace for the next two years.
The goals are the same as they were in the 2017-2019 strategic plan: reduce crime and blight, increase trust between the community and police, recruit and hire staff, and employ staff members that are highly trained.
Chief Eric Jones said, “We heard very loudly and clearly, these are the goals that matter for us.”READ MORE: Coroner Identifies Passenger Killed In Wrong-Way DUI Crash On Highway 99
Data shows the police department followed through with their goals. In 2018, the number of homicides dropped by 40% and non-fatal shootings decreased by 31%. Chief Jones attributes that success to what he calls a “collective approach to violence.”
That means, more police on the streets going after violent gangs and working with community groups, including clergy and non-profits.
Chief Jones said, “Why did those big drops happen? It’s no one organization, it’s no one thing, that means public safety isn’t just police.”
But, resources, both financial and personnel, are still a concern. Even now, as the city emerges from bankruptcy.
Chief Jones said, “we’ve finally hired a bunch of officers, now we’re looking at how do we increase the diversity, how do we add more training?”MORE NEWS: Looting Suspect Accused Of Dozens Of Thefts Arrested In South Lake Tahoe
The biggest driver for violence in Stockton is gang violence with 70% of crime here tied to groups.