San Jose police devoting extra attention to kids in high crime neighborhood

The San Jose Police Department launched a new program designed to tackle crime in one neighborhood by devoting more attention to kids in the area.

It's called 'Un Poco Mas' meaning a little more, and they kicked it off with a big overnight camping trip for cops and kids. 

It was a day of firsts. Most students at Arbuckle Elementary had never been on an overnight camping trip and many offices had never led one. 

But on Wednesday they headed up together to the Santa Cruz Mountains. 

Student Jade Gonzales says it was her first time out in nature, "When I first came here I was like 'what,' 'oh my gosh,' pretty emotional."

It's a much different view than what they get at home. 

"On the way here there were several kids who said, 'I've never seen the mountains before,'" said fifth-grade teacher Jennifer Malone. 

Officers refer to the Poco Way neighborhood as a crime hot spot, which is something Chief Eddie Garcia is determined to change. 

The trip marked the launch of the new program designed to give more attention, more resources and more help to the area.

The overnight camping trip is the highlight complete with games, rock climbing, and archery. 

But the police attention is supposed to be year-round with backpack giveaways, ice cream trucks and foot patrols near school. 

"I just made a conscious decision to say we're going to pull every resource we have into that area," Chief Garcia said. 

And the chief says he's in four the long haul with plans to keep the program in place indefinitely. There aren't resources to expand it to other schools yet. 

Parent Elizabeth Quezada says "Well I think it's a good start for them. They try to clean their image."

On Wednesday night, 50 fourth and fifth graders will be sleeping under the stars at the Boy Scout's Camp Chesebrough, making memories and building relationship.

Garcia says, "For them to see officers in this light, playing with them, laughing with them, this is public safety. And this is proactive public safety."

Anthony Benitez, a fourth-grader, said, "I normally see them in the streets following people. And now I get to look at them in this personal way. And I like it."

About 25 officers came up for the inaugural overnight camping trip. The chief hopes it will be the first year of many.