Stockton, CA Finds Itself in the News Again

Known for a bloody attack on one of its schools in the late 80s, Stockton, California, has a violent crime rate that corresponds with its reputation. Murder rates spiked in 2012, before dropping dramatically the following year. Violent crime hit an all-time high, in part, because of the economic downturn which resulted in major cutbacks in the Stockton Police Department.

Murder numbers fell in 2013 as a product of several factors: citizens were encouraged to help with reporting and deterring violent crimes, the police department formed relationships with neighboring agencies, and money was raised to strengthen the city’s police presence and restore some of the services that were subject to cuts.

In 1989, a man sprayed a schoolyard filled with children with a semiautomatic machine gun. Nearly 40 children were shot and five were fatally wounded. California led the nation in banning rifles designated as assault weapons because of the incident. The rationale is that there is no legitimate civilian reason for a weapon that shoots a hundred rounds of ammunition in a matter of minutes.

In July of 2014, Stockton, CA experienced another high-profile crime; a bank robbery followed by a deadly shootout put Stockton back on the map. The small city of just over a quarter-of-a-million people has experienced over 40% more violent crime than larger cities nearby. Even with the reduced number of murders, Stockton still struggles to contain a violent crime rate that rivals that of much larger cities.

Source: NBC News