A possible gang war this weekend has San Jose police on high alert. Kimberly Tere reports.
In the wake of rising violence and a climbing homicide rate, the San Jose police on Friday announced a new three-phase "violent crime reduction plan" to ramp up this summer, and the biggest highlight is that the department is reintroducing its gang suppression unit.
As of Friday morning, San Jose had 25 homicides in 2013, the most recent was a 16-year-old boy - Manuel Urzoua - who was beaten and shot in East San Jose on Wednesday, and who died Thursday afternoon. Police say this is the eighth-gang related homicide of the year.
Some of the key points of the new plan include:
The purpose of all this, police said, is so that ongoing gang and crime intelligence can be shared better, there are more uniformed police officers out on the streets, that the mayor's gang prevention task force is better looped into what's going on, and that there is a "data-driven, strategic deployment plan that emphasizes a focus on hot spot areas and known gang neighborhoods."
In a statement, police said these scheduling changes allow the department to minimize its use of overtime while maximizing uniformed presence in high-crime areas during peak times.
In light of that, police said all non-mandatory Special Operations Division training has been temporarily suspended.
In a statement, police said that this plan was the result of several strategic internal meetings convened by Acting Chief of Police Larry Esquivel due to a shared concern with the number of recent violent incidents in San Jose.