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Downtown Sacramento safety in the spotlight after recent violent crimes

Downtown Sacramento safety takes spotlight after deadly attack
Downtown Sacramento safety takes spotlight after deadly attack 03:10

SACRAMENTO — A string of recent violent crimes in downtown Sacramento has some people calling for more safety measures from city officials to make sure people who work, live or visit the area are protected.

Topo Padilla, the co-owner of Greg Padilla Bail Bonds, said longtime employee Kevin Brace was beaten to death last Thursday after letting someone into the business who claimed they needed to use the phone. The business on I Street sits directly across from the Sacramento County Main Jail.

Padilla immediately called on elected officials to do more to stop the violence by saying his employees don't feel safe going to work.

We reached out to the Downtown Partnership, hoping to spotlight programs in place that work to address safety. We asked about the Guide Program, which listed components like around-the-clock safety service workers in black and yellow uniforms patrolling seven days a week.

However, the Downtown Partnership said the program had been phased out. The web page listing services was taken down after CBS13 asked for more information about why the program was still being advertised if it was no longer offered. The Downtown Partnership did not clarify whether the Downtown Guide had been replaced with something else or why it was stopped. The City of Sacramento still lists a phone number and people can access the Downtown Guide on their website.

While we wait for more details about programs in the downtown corridor, we spoke to Mervin Brookins, the CEO of the Brother 2 Brother mentorship organization, about his sense of the state of safety in the region.

"I think overall Sacramento is a safe city, we have our challenges just like any other big city but we have to realize today's challenges are unique in that we're not just dealing with gang structure," Brookins said. "We have to guard against approaching things the way we have done in the past."

Brookins said that's why connecting at-risk kids with mentors is so important. It lets kids know they are cared for and invested in and, more importantly, gives them the chance to be educated about the consequences of their actions. When asked about the safety of downtown, Brookins said everyone should be doing what they can, where they live to make their community better.

"My message is to get involved. You don't have to be a resident of downtown to get involved with youth in your area," Brookins said. "We have to continue to talk about it, to get others involved. Even though it's not in their neighborhood, their neighborhood could be next."

If you want to learn more about the work, Brother to Brother mentorship is doing in your community.

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