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The San Jose Police Department (SJPD) held a press conference at the San Jose City Hall Rotunda, 200 East Santa Clara Street, in San Jose, on Friday, August 24, 2012 following the monthly meeting of the Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force.
The purpose was to provide updated information to our community about the recent violence, and to stand in solidarity against crime as a law enforcement-community collaborative effort.
The Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force, which consists of city and county law enforcement personnel, plus representatives of agencies and faith based community organizations, discussed the recent increase in homicides and violence. Information, both statistics and action programs, were presented and discussed. The action plans being taken by the police department to address this increase in criminal activity included the following:
• Swiftly identify and apprehend identified perpetrators to stop additional retaliations;
• Conduct police sweeps and other actions to disrupt gang activity and prevent further violence; and
• Activate our Crisis Response Protocol that engages police and other City departments, community service organizations, social service agencies, and school ad,omostratopms to restore peace in affected neighborhoods.
Presentations were made by Mayor Chuck Reed; SJPD Chief Chris Moore; Angel Rios, Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services. Present were Vice-Mayor Madison Nguyen, Council members Rose Herrera and Xavier Campos, and many members of the Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force (which had some 30 attending members). Also present were Board of Supervisor President George Shirakawa, and Dr. John Porter, Jr., Superintendent, Franklin-McKinley School District.
District Attorney Jeff Rosen stated that all perpetrators of violence and homicides would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law in order to remove these violent scoff-laws from the community.
During the prior meeting of the Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force, Assembly member Nora Campos proposed having the CA State Police be asked to assist. Chief Moore responded that their assistance was not needed at this time because SJPD has a protocol which was effective in prior years.
Subcommittee reports were made by SJ Councilmember Rose Herrera on community engagements; Supervisor George Shirakawa presented the Interagency Collaborative activities; Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services (PRNS) Director Angel Rios gave his activity & preparation report; The School/City Collaborative report was presented by FMSD Superinendent John Porter, Jr. and the Technical Team provided reports.
Of the 33 homicides which happened since January 1, 2012, some 15 are gang related. SJPD statistical data clearly revealed that the incidents were being committed by youth who were 14 to 19 years of age. This cohort was responsible for 50% of the incidents on record thus far.
Resources provided included $250,000 Cal Grip Grant used to engage, under contract, the services of Catholic Charities, CA Youth Outreach and Probation Office/CBO linkages over the next 18 months. In addition, City Manager Debra Figone’s report regarding the law enforcement and related activities in respoonse to recent 7 homicdes, resulted in the allocation of $800,000 from general funds to support the police overtime service duties required.
The above is a summary of actions taken and future actions to be undertaken to deal with the recent spike in gang violence in the City of San Jose, which is still regarded as a ‘very safe city.”