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Stockton has ‘Encouraging’ Start to 2017 with Zero Homicides in January

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STOCKTON -- With a job that deals with so much grief, Tashante McCoy-Ham a case manager for the Stockton Trauma Recovery Center, finds light in helping to bring peace to families whose loved ones were violently killed.

"When we begin to look at our communities as family, then we’ll see a change, we’ll continue to see things change,” McCoy-Ham said.

Chief Eric Jones with the Stockton Police Department said it’s programs like these, along with weather and other factors, that may have led to the latest homicide statistics in the city.

"We had an encouraging month,” the chief said.

For the month of January of this year there were zero homicides, a number city leaders haven’t seen in years. The only other time there were no homicides in the month of January was in 2013. There were only 32 that year.

Chief Jones told us the statistics are positive.

"But we do know in January we had fewer shootings of fatal and non-fatal compared to last year at this time,” he explained.

However, violence still plagues the city. Just days ago two teen boys were shot.

"Though they both survived; a very, very serious case," Jones said. "And so it just shows the importance of us continuing to work on gun violence."

This crime is a prime example of why groups like the Trauma Recovery Center and police work together.

"We can’t celebrate just one month," said Gauri Sanchez, a Mental Health Clinician with the Stockton Trauma Recovery. "And hopefully we can continue; this month should be like the rest of the months.”

For McCoy-Ham, it’s more than just numbers -- it’s personal.

Five years ago she lost her brother Terri McCoy Junior to a double homicide. Her devastation and grief funneled into her work, into her community.

"Creating those spaces where we can amplify the voices of those of us who are crime survivors in order to raise awareness about what that experience is like,” McCoy-Ham said.

The Chief added there was also a suspicious death where a man was found dead in a hotel fire last month. Investigators have not ruled out homicide in that case.