STOCKTON (CBS13) — A day after a Stockton shootout following a bank robbery, the police force is being stretched thin with nearly two-dozen officers on paid administrative leave.
The city is already slammed by high crime, and its financial troubles have left it with low numbers of police officers to cover the streets.
But the department says it is moving fast to adjust after a violent day that has 20 officers on administrative leave and left 14 police cars and the city’s only armored SWAT vehicle out of commission.
“It’s frankly amazing that none of our police officers were hit,” said Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones.
The hundreds of rounds of ammunition exchanged on Wednesday has left the city with the unprecedented challenge of maintaining adequate protection with so many resources and officers off the streets.
“It’s a strain for the department,” he said.
More than a few Stockton residents wanted to know how this would affect them, so we took their questions to Jones.
“We do have plans for contingencies like this, and those plans are in place,” he said. “We have officers coming back to duty We can transition them back from other assignments back to the streets.”
During the shootout, the department caught a break as there were no reports of other major crimes happening at the same time.
But CBS13 has learned that after the smoke cleared from the exchange of gunfire, outside law enforcement agencies were called in to help patrol the streets on Wednesday night. They remained on standby a day later.
Some of the damaged patrol cars should be repaired and back in the rotation soon, and they moved fast to repair the tires on Stockton’s only armored SWAT vehicle to get it working Thursday night.