Special units deployed, tips sought in Stockton shootings, chief says – Stockton Record

Just six weeks after taking over leadership of the Stockton Police Department, Interim Chief James Chraska sees the city dealing with an outbreak of five homicides in six days.
Chraska, a 25-year veteran of the Police Department who became an assistant chief in 2020, assumed leadership when Chief Eric Jones retired in December.
Five people have been fatally shot in Stockton between Friday, Feb. 11 and Thursday, Feb 17:
One person shot about 8 p.m. Wednesday in the 1700 block of West Fremont Street was injured.
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“There is no information that would lead us to believe that the cases are related,” Chraska said.
Stockton police are working with the Lodi Police Department to combat gang violence after Lodi also experienced six shootings over a several-day period this month, according to a Lodi-News Sentinel story. 
Stockton Police have said they do not have information about the suspects or motives in the shootings are any indications that the shootings are related.
Chraska spoke with The Record about the shootings.
The department is sending additional patrols and specialized units to the areas where the shootings occurred, Chraska said. “We want to focus on high visibility, and we also want to focus on information.”
The department’s Neighborhood Impact Team will “respond to each of these areas, and discuss and talk with the neighbors. They will talk about concerns, but also try to solicit information.”
“We are concentrating our focus and we are concentrating our resources in these areas,” he said.
“We want them, obviously, to be safe, and so we are going to do everything we can to not only solve the cases but to try to stop any future retaliatory cases.”
At this time last year, Stockton had had six homicides. This year, there have been eight, Chraska said.
He recalled 2012 as a particularly violent year.
“I think we had 70-plus homicides during that time, in relation to 2021, when we had 39… that year comes to mind as one that was just really bad for everybody.”
Multiple factors contributed to the violence in 2012, including gang-related homicides and lower staffing levels at the Police Department, he said.
“I feel comfortable approaching it because of the men and women that work here at the Police Department. We have got a great team, they are very dedicated, they are working tirelessly on this case, and so I feel confident in them,” Chraska said.
“I also feel confident in the community, the trust building work that we have done, and that we will get some tips and some information to solve (the cases).”
Anyone who provides Stockton Crime Stoppers information about the shootings that leads to an arrest will receive a $10,000 cash reward. Tips can be submitted anonymously.
“Tips are coming in on these cases … but we are always wanting additional information, no matter how small it may seem,” Chraska said. “It could be big to us.”
“We’re here to support these families, and we also want to support those community members who are able to come forward and share information.”
Record reporter Aaron Leathley covers business, housing, and land use. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @LeathleyAaron. Support local news, subscribe to The Stockton Record. 

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