STOCKTON (CBS13) – It’s a scene the city has seen many times before. Stockton will ring in the New Year with yet another murder.
Stockton has seen 71 homicides in 2012, and the city’s mayor-elect is vowing to change things in 2013.
News of the city’s latest murder is not sitting well with Stockton’s newly elected Mayor Anthony Silva.
“It’s ridiculous; it’s unacceptable,” said Silva.
With just a few days left before his first day on the job, Silva outlines plans to make Stockton safer.
It starts with putting police back on the streets. The city needs to hire a handful of officers before grant money kicks in for additional positions. He hopes seasoned officers will apply.
“I think a lot of it comes from referrals from existing officers on the force. I think it’s a no brainer that we talk to them about making a call to folks. In other cities people steal employees away from Stockton. They always say our police dept is a training ground for other cities because if you can make it on Stockton you’ll be a versatile officer in other cities. We should do the same thing. I’m making those calls to friends I have in other cities, asking them to come back to Stockton,” said Silva.
He believes diversity in those newly hired officers is the key.
“We need to hire police officers that look like the community. There’s nothing like people patrolling their own neighborhoods; it’s just street smarts,” Silva said.
Silva starts his new job as mayor on Wednesday.