Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones was a happy man a day after voters approved a 3/4 cent increase in the sales tax — most of which will go to hire 120 more police officers. The measure would raise $280 million over the next 10 years, beginning in April.
The new officers will allow more officers to spend more time in the neighbors preventing crime. The department had to implement a strategy of putting all their efforts in responding to violent crimes like shootings and stabbings.
Jones said with more staff, officers will be able to get out of their squad cars and interact with citizens. They’ll also be able to spend more time on solving non-violent crime reports as well as deal with life-style issues.
Jones warned citizens to be patient because it takes time finding qualified police candidates and to train them. So far they have not been able to staff all the positions they’ve been funded for because they have to train officers at the same time they deal with day to day crime.
Even though the new tax money could be distributed by mid-summer, full implementation of the so-called “Marshal Plan” to reduce crime with the new officers could take several years.