A partnership between Stockton Police and California Highway Patrol began in early November, so far it’s been successful.
There have been some high profile arrests, guns have been taken off the street, additional traffic enforcement and check outs on gang members, according to Stockton Police Officer Joe Silva.
“Anytime two agencies can work together to better a community it’s always going to be a success,” said CHP Officer James Smith.
The partnership started when Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones reached out to the CHP Commissioner and the governor’s office for the extra help.
Here’s how it works.
“We have additional patrols going into the city limits of Stockton,” explained Smith, “Working with their gang task force and working with the members of police department.”
Silva added they have about 10 or 12 more patrol vehicles in high crime neighborhood. “The criminals are notice that along with the good citizens who are welcoming that,” said Silva.
The partnership and extra patrols are meant to send a message to criminals. “We want to make it as uncomfortable for them as possible,” Silva said about the criminals, “Let them know there’s going to be an officer in that neighborhood. They’re going to get caught and arrested.”
In a city that ended 2012 with 71 homicides, the fact CHP alone has taken 25 to 30 guns off the street is a big deal. “If they don’t have the weapons to commit those violent crimes they can’t commit those violent crimes,” said Smith.
The real way to tell the partnership is working is that Stockton’s homicide rate has dropped in the last few months, according to Silva. “Still really early to tell about the significant level they’re having, but we view this as a success,” he said.
The partnership is up for reevaluation on February 1 and at that point they’ll take a look at what works what doesn’t and see if the partnership should continue.