By Steve Large

STOCKTON (CBS13) – Stockton is on pace this year to break its record murder rate. Tuesday night, the bankrupt city voted to pay $215,000 for yet another plan to stop violent crime.

Stockton’s mayor is on board following a unanimous vote to pay for a new program to stop violence called “Operation Ceasefire” centered around community meetings, where offenders speak with appointed community leaders at so-called “call-ins.”

“We’ll have success by how the violent crime rates drop,” Mayor Ann Johnston said. “It’s very simple.”

David Bennett is the paid consultant who advised the city on the move.

“Bringing in the offenders and sitting them down in a room and talking with them, and saying ‘We’re not gonna tolerate crime anymore.’ But it really does work,” he said.

But how does it work.

“You’ll have to come along and watch it as it unfolds,” he said.

Bennett showed council members statistics from a half dozen other cities where “Operation Ceasefire” has worked. Boston. Chicago. Cincinnati.

“Did you see more data to convince you that this will work?” CBS13’s Steve Large asked Johnston said.

“Yes. There’s a whole list of cities,” she said. “He just showed a couple of them.”

With 49 homicides this year so far, Stockton is on pace to break the all time record set just last year.

People who live here spoke cautiously about the new crime-fighting plan.

“I hope it works, because you guys screwed it up in the first place,” Geri Ridge said.

“There can be no naive assurances here,” Anthony Delgado said.

Stockton agreed on a $215,000 contract with a group called California Partnership for Safe Communities to implement the program.


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