Stockton residents determined to take back neighborhoods | News
STOCKTON, CA - A scene with police cars and yellow tape is becoming a notoriously common image in Stockton.
That sad reality has residents in the Sierra Vista neighborhood fed up and wanting to do more. A large group of resident came together Saturday to talk about how to fight Stockton's surge of violence.
"It's for the community to get to know each other and that way you can communicate together, and we can reach out that way, by communicating," Sierra Vista Council President Georgia Brownlee said.
There were 58 homicides in Stockton last year; so far this year, 48 homicides. Those grim statistics motivated the group of families to meet. Morgan Maloney, 18, plans to work in law enforcement in Stockton after college.
"I want to help and better the community, that's why I want to be a cop," Maloney said. "Preferably K9, but I mean anything."
But, even this prospective Stockton police officer admits she thinks twice about where she goes.
"With a lot of the violence you just don't want to go outside anymore," Maloney explained.
Gun violence disrupted Friday night football at Edison High School, when shots were fired across the street. The stadium went on lockdown.
Carlnelius McGee is a cornerback. He was playing on the field when the shots rang from across the street.
"I just saw everybody in the stands running and people were saying they are shooting," McGee said. "It's scary it's not safe nowhere out here."
Back at the Sierra Vista meeting, fear is replaced with communication.
"What we talked about [Saturday] is breaking that cycle, and getting the community involved to realize where their children are," City of Stockton Operation Peacekeepers Ralph Womack said.
Several community organizations also handed out forms for services offering drug rehabilitation programs, youth activities and behavioral health programs.
For many, it was all about neighbors getting to know each other. It's not a quick fix, but it is one step to tackle an enormous crime problem in the city of Stockton.