STOCKTON (CBS13) — Several people in Stockton took to the streets earlier this month to walk for peace after a string of homicides, and now community leaders are working harder than ever to combat the problem.
A community engagement meeting was held this morning at the Civic Auditorium in downtown.
Stockton’s Office of Violence Prevention is continuing to bring community leaders together as they plan ways to help reduce violent crime.
Raynard Pamilton lives and works in Stockton. Over the years, he’s has seen firsthand what it’s like for many young people struggling to stay out of trouble.
“As far as, probably a person in high school, a young, young person, it’s tough because there is a lot of crime, it’s a lot of poverty, and you know people have to grow up fast,” he said.
Pamilton says the recent number of homicides and the violence against Stockton police is concerning and he wants to help get Stockton back on track.
“The answer is for everyone to come together as one, as far as the police department, as far as our mayor, as far as everybody in Stockton. We need to sit down and figure out what we can do,” he said.
During the city’s community engagement meeting at the civic auditorium, service providers came together to focus on ways they can collaborate to help reduce the number of violent crimes around Stockton.
“It’s not just one agency. It’s not just the police department that is responsible for controlling all the violence. It takes a village,” said Latosha Walden, manager, Office of Violence Prevention.
Among the programs preventing crime is the Family Justice Center, which is part of the Office of the District Attorney. It’s working to provide victims of child abuse, human trafficking, and domestic violence the help they need all under one roof.
“It’s not only us as service providers but if we can’t for whatever reason meet the need of somebody who comes to us we have to know who to get them to so that we can be as all, as service organizations we can be affective,” said Suzanne Schultz, Family Justice Center Project Director, Office of the District Attorney.
Leaders with the office of violence prevention say they are thinking about hosting a resource fair in the next few months to continue the conversation.
The Family Justice Center opened at the old courthouse in Stockton in December and plans to expand sometime soon.