By Steve Large

STOCKTON (CBS13) — Following years of mass protests in Stockton over police use-of-force incidents, new numbers show Stockton is now leading the state for the biggest percentage drop in police shootings.

Statistics from the California Department of Justice show an 80% drop in Stockton police shootings in the past two years.

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Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs calls the numbers significant, and trust-building, crediting police de-escalation training as part of the difference. The city has been part of a four-year U.S. Department of Justice “National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice.”

“It makes me incredibly proud to be mayor of the city of Stockton, for our police chief, our police officers and also the community,” Tubbs said.

In February of 2017, Tubbs was inside council chambers when police in riot gear confronted Black Lives Matters protesters seeking answers into police use of force incidents. The night captured the emotions of a city struggling with police and community relations. But the new numbers reflect change.

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“We’re not perfect, we have work to do but I’m so proud of our officers,” Tubbs said.

Stockton police chief Eric Jones issued a statement in response to the police shooting stats reading in part, “the Stockton Police Department always strives to reduce force through policy and contemporary training.”

NAACP Stockton President Bobby Bivens has served in his position for two decades and has protested police and civic policies over the years.

“I feel very good that we are getting some positive results,” Bivens said. “You’re able to see change and see results and you are able to cause the police department to act differently to come up with structure, to come up with processes.”

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A city coping with a year’s long community and police divide, and violence. Now a new sign, showing in Stockton, more police confrontations are ending with peaceful outcomes.