Recently, the San Jose Police Department has made a decision to do whatever it takes to reduce the crime rate in the city, as gang violence continues to increase. Officials announced on Friday, August 24th, that they would be stepping up their efforts, and that they are 100% committed to stopping whatever crime is going on in the area. What was once considered one of the safest cities in the country has become overrun with gang violence and homicides. According to Police Chief Chris Moore, 8 homicides had been committed in 11 days, prompting officials to take action.
What will be done in an effort to reduce the number of gang-related incidents and homicides in the San Jose area? Chief Moore revealed that more than 24 officers from other units will be deployed for patrolling, and that staff would be boosted after placing $800,000 in the budget for overtime. Residents of San Jose have been urged to report any violent crimes they witness in order to assist police in cracking down on crime.
Moore did note that while the number of homicides have increased over last year at the same time, the number of those which were gang-related is down. According to Moore, San Jose remains one of the safest cities of its size in the U.S. statistically.
Moore, along with other city officials, admitted that there has been a strain on police resources because of reduced staffing particularly over recent months when there seems to have been an outbreak of violence in the city. Plans are to reinforce street patrol with officers taken from other divisions including financial crimes and traffic enforcement. Additionally, Moore said that 64 new officers are being hired for the department, but that most will be in academy training until next summer because they are new recruits.
The Mayor, Vice Mayor and City Council members joined in the announcement of the effort to deter crime, as did city parks officials and school district leaders who lead programs designed to steer teens in to a positive direction and away from gang activity. Mayor Chuck Reed has been blamed by the officers’ union for the drop in staffing, much of it believed to be due to his successful ballot measure which will reduce costly retirement benefits.
As experienced San Jose criminal defense lawyers, we hope that the efforts of the police department, city officials and others pays off. Time will tell if the city becomes a safer place for its citizens.