There are fewer non-deadly shootings in Stockton this year than last year, but there are more homicides this year compared to 2013. Some people at Mayor Anthony Silva’s first town hall meeting on Monday night didn’t want him to forget those who died.
“We’ve been asking for an investigation and we haven’t gotten a police report, dashcam video, and reasons why they shot our kid. He was only 16 years old and he was unarmed,” said one father at the town hall.
Mayor Silva feels that Stockton is poised for a turnaround with Measure A providing more money for the police department.
“[With] the additional 120 officers – we’re going to nip this [problem] in the bud,” said Silva.
Silva also believes the city’s ShotSpotter program is effective and should be expanded. But at $45,000 a year per square mile, we asked Mayor Silva if the city could afford it.
“Because of our size, we qualify for a lot of those grants,” said Silva.
For now though, Silva says Stockton should be able to feel safer in Stockton.
“All they have to do is call 9-1-1 and someone will be there,” said Silva.
Even though Mayor Silva says there are enough people to handle high priority calls, there aren’t enough yet to handle lower priority calls, like domestic disputes, he said.
But the overall feeling in Stockton is that residents feel safer this year than they did a year ago.
Stockton resident Grace Bankole says she hears fewer shootings.
“I don’t know what they’ve done but they’ve done something,” said Bankole.
Stockton resident Frank Saldana said he works with intercity residents including gang members and prostitutes and said he sees the change too.
“You can see the hearts are changing,” said Saldana.