San Jose police increase patrols in downtown area after recent homicides
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - In a paradoxical twist, lower crime rates—driven in part by the COVID-19 pandemic, are producing more police patrols in Downtown San Jose.
“What we’re doing is we’re taking some of those resources within the division, and we’re just putting them in those areas where we’ve had those recent homicides,” said San Jose Police Deputy Chief Heather Randol, who heads the department’s Field Operations Bureau.
Three killings, spanning five days, recently rocked downtown. On Sept. 16, two people were killed when a hail of bullets was sprayed at a group memorializing a friend, on S 8th Street, blocks from the San Jose State University campus.
“We have families that do live here. This is a college area, so it should be somewhat safe,” said resident David Foughty.
Monday, someone stabbed and killed 39-year-old David Perez, directly across the street from City Hall. Authorities have arrested three people in connection with the homicide.
“I think people are on edge. And unfortunately, um, during hard times is when stuff like this happens,” said resident Maggie Delrio.
This week, the San Jose Police Department added 12 patrol units to the Downtown area. The day and evening shifts, which are staffed by 10 officers, will now each get five additional officers.
“It does reduce crime in the area. But it also reassures the community, and it lets them know, we’re aware this is happening,” said Dep. Chief Randol. Added SJSU Justice Studies professor Greg Woods, “It is absolutely an effective strategy.”
He said more boots on the ground will serve as an immediate deterrent to crime. But long-term solutions, he says, require collaboration.
“Members of the community share equally that responsibility to maintain safety and security in the community,” said Woods.
The added police patrols will continue through the weekend. This is no word on extending the change beyond that. Police officials said this type of shifting of resources is available to the central police division, as well as the other three divisions – Foothills, South, and North.