San Jose

Specialized San Jose Police Unit Aims to Curb Gang Violence

San Jose police say August is the month when gang violence begins to spike. Kids are back in school and it gives gangs an opportunity to recruit.

That's when the department's Violent Crimes Enforcement Team, or VCET, comes in. Officers in the specialized unit are tasked with suppressing gang violence. They patrol some of San Jose's most violent neighborhoods, confronting gang members and confiscating guns.

Officers in the unit said a relatively quiet summer is beginning to heat up.

"There was another shooting that took place," Sgt. Ronnie Lopez said Tuesday while an NBC Bay Area crew rode along with VCET.

The unit is gearing up to go into the eye of the storm.

"Last night we had an officer injured," Lopez said.

Between April and June of this year, VCET took 11 guns off the streets and made 23 felony arrests.

VCET is now worried about gang retaliation after a suspected gang member was killed near Winchester Boulevard two week ago. Officers are now hitting so-called hot spots looking for guns and making arrests.

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