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Dueling San Jose Meetings Focus On Rise In Crime

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Concerns over a spike in crime in San Jose prompted a pair of meetings on Tuesday night, each with sharply different tones.

The mayor and city council held a "study session" at City Hall on crime figures and police response times while the San Jose Police Officers' Association and other unions organized a crime fighting event in the Evergreen neighborhood.

KCBS' Chris Filippi Reports:

Several residents who spoke at the City Hall meeting admitted that they are concerned about the recent surge in violent crimes in the city.

"San Jose has become a magnet for criminals," said one concerned resident. "And the question really is does the current police department have the ability to handle this crisis based upon the resources it has available."

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said that while there were nine homicides in August, there has not been a murder in the city since August 23, with police overtime helping in the short term.

"Troops are putting in the time. It's just a very short term (fix)," Reed said. "Capacity just can't go forever like that."

At the neighborhood meeting, members of the San Jose Police Officers' Association offered tips to residents on how they can best fight crime.

Police union board member James Gonzales said the meeting was one of several planned to help concerned residents.

"We're doing what our department has always done. We're giving citizens some tools to help prevent some of that crime," he said.

Gonzalez said that in the Evergreen community, the burglary rate has surged 150 percent and police response times are up 57 percent.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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