A team of San Jose police officers are taking it upon themselves to heal a neighborhood plagued by gang activity. Damian Trujillo reports.
A team of San Jose police officers are taking it upon themselves to heal a neighborhood plagued by gang activity.
The effort, dubbed "Operation William Street," is focusing on a neighborhood south of San Jose State University.
Capt. Tony Ciaburro, who commands the department's central division, said police knew things had to change after a brazen September gang murder in the neighborhood.
Ciaburro also heads Operation William Street, which includes five beat officers and a sargeant.
"In this case they decided enough is enough," he said. "When we have someone shooting somebody in broad daylight at 4:40 in the afternoon, they decided it was unacceptable. And they were going come back to make a difference."
That difference delivered 50 arrests and more than 100 contacts with known gang members in three months.
And the community is taking notice.
"I think they've been doing well," said resident Nicholas Seaberry. "They've been cracking down on the gangs and the drugs. That's most important because it's what our youth sees every day."
Officers are working on Operation William Street on top of walking their regular beat, and with less police backup.
"It's a rough time for us. Resources are limited," Ciaburro said. "But they're deciding at the moment if they can get out of their cars, they're doing it."