EPA Chief Calls End to Crime Emergency - NBC Bay Area

EPA Chief Calls End to Crime Emergency



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    FILE ART - Shooting scene in East Palo Alto on May 6, 2013.

    East Palo Alto Police Chief Ron Davis on Monday called an end to a  three-week crime emergency he declared in response to a sudden increase in  gang violence.

    Since the emergency went into effect on May 20, there has been  only one shooting reported in East Palo Alto, which police said was  accidental and self-inflicted.
    "The Crime Emergency has ended, but our sense of urgency and  resolve in stemming violence in our community has not," Davis said in a  statement.

    The number of patrol officers deployed throughout the community  during peak hours -- which doubled during the crime emergency -- will return  to prior levels.
    The Police Department pledged to continue fighting gang activity  in the community by coordinating prevention efforts with neighboring law  enforcement agencies, faith-based organizations, local probation departments  and service providers, Davis said.

    Overall, crime in East Palo Alto has decreased by 15 percent  compared to this time last year, according to statistics released by the  Police Department.

    A recent increase in homicides and shootings -- including a May 5  shooting at a bus stop that injured a six-year-old girl, her grandmother and  four others -- was attributed to an internal feud in the Norteno gang.

    The fatal shooting of 15-year-old Jose Quinonez on May 19 was  believed to be connected to the same street gang.
    Police have since arrested 27 people in East Palo Alto and San  Mateo County and part of its gang crackdown, at least 10 of which were known  members of the Nortenos, officials said.

    Davis said that violence prevention efforts will continue "with a  renewed sense of urgency," and that the department hopes to achieve the "bold  goal" of no more murders for the remainder of 2013.