STOCKTON (CBS13) – A city under siege, Stockton is desperate to fight crime. Now, there’s a special team deployed to find criminals before they strike again.
SWAT moved in on a Stockton house after receiving several calls last month of shots fired in the neighborhood.
Marilyn Baxter says some of those stray bullets hit her home.
“A stray bullet could have killed me or my son right there in my game room window up there,” she said, pointing to the bullet hole. “Now I’m wondering who is going to pay for the damage at my house.”
She blames her neighbors, who weren’t too happy to see CBS13 riding along with the officers.
“Go to the (exploitive) crime scenes where the people are getting murdered,” Ann Margaret Ramirez barked.
Stockton police officers showed up as part of their community response effort, which focuses on fighting gang violence and getting guns off the streets.
“We need the community to know that when they give us information, to know that we are going to act upon this,” Officer Joe Silva said.
It’s part of the citywide push to combat the rising violent crime rate. Homicides are close to double of what they were this time last year and their force to fight the criminals is down more than 100 officers from 2008.
They rely on community tips. That’s how they ended up at the Ramirez home.
Once there, officers say they found cocaine, more than $12,000 in cash and a loaded gun stored in a 1-year-old’s closet. She was taken to Child Protective Services.
The baby’s father, Raymond Blair was arrested and is a known gang member, police said.
But the suspect’s family say they’re not the problem. They’re just victims too.
“We’re not out there shooting nobody,” Victor Ramirez said. “We got guys out here running around with guns in their cars and shooting at people just driving by.”
But investigators say they are part of the problem, and they may not have even known if neighbors here didn’t call. It’s a renewed effort at proactive policing by building a trust and partnership with the public.