STOCKTON -- The Stockton Police Department has released new statistics showing violent crime is up 13 percent in the city compared to the same period in 2018.
So far in 2019, there have been nine homicides, 250 robberies and 732 assaults.
"We have seen an increase and that's concerning to us here at the police department so that's why we're sitting down, analyzing the data to see exactly why we're seeing an increase," Stockton Police Officer Joe Silva said. "This year we had a double homicide and a triple homicide. Unacceptable."
Those numbers will increase again for next month's report after four people were shot at a bar over the weekend.
Community members have been weighing in on the police department's Facebook page. Some blame Mayor Michael Tubbs' controversial "Advance Peace" program, which identifies people at risk for violence and offers resources and job training, and some may receive a $1,000 stipend for staying out of trouble.
Silva says it's too soon to tell whether the program has anything to do with the recent uptick in crime.
"We're actually still trying to wait for more information to come out so we can see exactly what's working and what's not working. But we'll take any program here at the city, here at the police department, that could potentially reduce gun violence in our city," he said.
Silva adds that taking the bigger picture into account, Stockton's crime rates are actually declining.
"Month to month, quarter to quarter, crime stats will fluctuate and we got to go back to 2012 when we saw a record number in violent crime, a record number in homicides," he said. "The trend line is going down in the right direction."
Nevertheless, the recent uptick has the police department working to educate the community to try to bring those numbers down.
"We want them to get involved. We want them to form neighborhood watch groups, business watch groups so they can get connected with the police department, so that we can work together because it's all of our community," Silva told FOX40. "This is our city."