San Jose police step up weekend patrols after surge in violence

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - San Jose Police say it will be all hands on deck this weekend.

A surge in violent crimes led to an emergency meeting this week. And now, officers have a plan in place to make sure this weekend is safer than the last.

For San Jose Police, last weekend was a call to action.

"We had five shooting incidences, two of which lead to homicide. We had a stabbing on Saturday night, we had a violent attempted sexual assault of three victims, one who was stabbed," says Officer Albert Morales.

In that time 61-year old Vietnam Veteran Dahn Nguyen was killed, so was a 19-year old hockey player named Chris Keil.

"Like at night you're afraid to go walk out there,  you think you're safer in your park. Now that this happened you don't know," says neighbor, David Dussart.

The crime wave continued for three long days, including a violent robbery at a Walmart near Monterrey and Blossom Hill where two men set off an explosive device inside the store.

"As you can see, a pattern of violence we're just really not used to," says Officer Morales.

Authorities say violent crime and property crime are up slightly this year as compared to last, though homicides are not.

But it was this last weekend that caused the police chief to call an emergency meeting Monday.

"These are some serious, serious crimes that are causing a lot of havoc in our city," says Morales.

The plan: work closely with the faith-based community, and with probation and parole officers.

Then target crime hotspots and bring in extra officers, including gang investigators on overtime shifts

"The best way to put it is it's all hands on deck. We want everyone we can possibly have available to go out and work," Morales says.

Religious leaders agree they have an important role to play in combating crime.

"Actually meeting people on the street where they live and where things go down, that's where you want to be. So I do think the religious community has to step up its game," says Pastor Scott Wagers with CHAM Deliverance Ministry.

Police say they'll be stepping up their game as well.

"We owe it to our community to get out there, in force, working with our community to go ahead and curb some of the violence," says Officer Morales.

This weekend will be the first real test of the stepped up enforcement. As for how long it will last, police say as long as it’s necessary.

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