By Carlos Correa

STOCKTON (CBS13) – New data from Stockton’s Office of Violence Prevention shows the number of homicides for the city is on track to becoming the lowest in four years.

Program staff point to police officers and community partnerships for the decrease, including its peacekeepers who provide mentoring and conflict resolution.

Not only are homicide cases down compared to last year, leaders with the Office of Violence Prevention said the number of non-fatal shootings is also down. Stockton peacekeeper Grover Bernard Crump has noticed the progress.  The Office of Violence Prevention is reporting the number of homicides in decreasing.

“It brings me to tears you learn to care about these people because it’s part of you that you’re giving,” he said.

Police have investigated 31 homicides in Stockton so far this year.  In 2017, there were 55 homicides. 49 homicides in 2016, 2015 and 2014, but nothing compares to the 71 homicides the city saw in 2012.

“Some of these young men come from distraught families, broken families, broken homes, straight out of prison, they don’t know any other way,” said Crump.

Outreach workers say the cycle of violence for most of their clients starts at a very young age.  Many of them don’t have a path or a person to guide them out of it.

“There are a lot of underlying factors and what we’re trying to do is actually not just put a stamp on violence to say it’s bad. We all know it’s bad. We’re trying to answer the question as to why people are doing that,” said Keiland Henderson, Office of Violence Prevention.

The Office of Violence Prevention works closely with community partners. Leaders with the department work hard to curb the violence and help get troubled individuals back on track.

“We’re making significant impacts because of the work that we’re doing in collaboration with all of our community based partners because it does take a village to reduce gun violence in Stockton and I think we’re doing that now,” said Lindsay Brown, management analysts.

The data collected covers activity from January to September. The Office of Violence Prevention plans for another meeting early next year that includes the rest of 2018.

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