SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The number of homicides in the city has dropped for the third straight year, but there’s one statistic that stands out even more.
Investigating the murder of a child is one of the toughest cases cops get, last year that didn’t happen in Sacramento.
“I am really excited about that,” said Councilmember Jay Schenirer.
In 2018, not a single person under 18 was murdered. Something that hasn’t happened in 35 years.
On average, 12 kids are murdered a year in all of Sacramento County, but having none in the city is not a surprise to those that have been working to curb juvenile crime.
“Absolutely incredible,” said Kindra Montgomery-Block. “Isn’t it amazing what good investment can do for young people and their families?”
Montgomery-Block with the Sierra Health Foundation helps organize youth activities designed to keep kids from causing trouble.
“This 2018 and no child deaths, juvenile deaths in the city of Sacramento, is absolutely the blessing on top,” she said. “Effective community voices, effective community people who are in these neighborhoods that have the trusted walkabout in messaging to turn a community around.”
Reaching out to those at risk is something city and county leaders are embracing by committing millions of dollars to the effort.
“I don’t think children grow up saying, ‘I want to game member.’ I think they say, ‘this is what I need to be successful’ and that’s what our responsibility as well as other partners in the city,” Schenirer said.
Those efforts range from Shop with a Cop event, to neighborhood peace marches, and the recently added Friday night pop-ups events that were started after a large-scale teenage fight at Arden Fair Mall.
“What happened at Arden, we saw a need, created a strategy, put that strategy in order, and not one thing happened that next weekend,” said Montgomery-Block.
While murder rates often vary widely each year, police say having no child homicides shows community outreach is having an impact.
“That what we’re doing matters and we take that as a success for our city and our community,” said Officer Marcus Basquez, spokesman for the Sacramento Police department.
On September 11, 2018 3-year-old Azalya Anderson was shot at a South Sacramento residence and died four days later. That residence was not in Sacramento, rather Sacramento County.