San Jose

San Jose Police Report Officers Taking More Guns Off the Streets

Police said they are seeing more guns on San Jose streets than they did last year.

San Jose police are using a new tracking method that shows beat cops are taking one gun off the streets every one-and-a-half days. There were three guns taken off the streets in San Jose on Sunday alone.

SJPD Chief Eddie Garcia said this is all happening with an understaffed police force.

"You take a gun off the streets, off a criminal, you save someone's life," Garcia said. "You change someone's life. You saved us from having another victim. You saved a family from mourning."

In 2017, San Jose police took 454 guns off the streets. This year, police have already nabbed 396 guns, with 43 percent of those found by cops on their normal patrols instead of some larger operation. It is a figure the department just started tracking this year.

"It's important for the community to recognize the dangers their officers put themselves in to get these guns off the streets," Garcia said.

Debbie O'Neil regularly visits her grandson in Willow Glen and does not like the idea that there are that many guns on the streets.

"I'm stunned. It's appalling really," O'Neil said. "We like to bring our grandchildren here. I'm stunned, shocked."

The police chief has started highlighting what he calls proactive policework in a YouTube series titled, "Stories From the Streets." He notes his cops are doing this while battling the fact that San Jose is the least-staffed, big city department in the nation.

Garcia said he could have another 300 police officers and still be understaffed. At the same time, call for service are up by 13,000 already this year.

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