Homicides Already Surpass 2010 Total

A 51-year-old San Jose man died from his stab wound injuries late Thursday night, bringing the total of homicide victims in San Jose this year to 21. That total is one more homicide than San Jose had in all of 2010.

While several people in this year’s count died of injuries they received in incidents taking place before the New Year, the majority of victims were attacked and died in the first five months of 2011.

Here is a map of where the homicides have taken place in San Jose so far this year.

San Jose Police Chief Chris Moore has said he is concerned about the rise of gang-related violence in the city. In March, the department’s Gang Task Force was merged with another violent crimes unit because of staffing cuts. This comes on the heels of the city’s decision to disband the Violent Crime Enforcement Team (VCET), which focused specifically on gangs, late last year due to budget cuts.

There are an estimated 9,000 gang members in San Jose.

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.

20 Comments

  1. You are close but technically incorrect. It’s worse than that. VCET was the only street level violent crime enforcement unit. MERGE is only on the street in limited fashion and they were cut by 8 out 20 positions. METRO used to deal with quality of life issues. Just wait til the Mayor does the layoffs he’s been threatening to do. METRO will be cut in size, MERGE may go away all together and we are alreadycutting the number of detectives in the gang investigations unit and the robbery unit. The burglary unit has a skeleton crew and the auto theft detectives are clearing out their desks next month.

    But on the bright side, the airport has almost $1 Billion dollars to spend next year.

    • “But on the bright side, the airport has almost $1 Billion dollars to spend next year.”

      I have said it before, and I will say it again.  This airport is an albatross around our necks, and it is destroying this community. 

      Get rid of this useless piece of dung.

  2. God help us ALL survive this Mayor and his co-conspirators. He appears bound and determined to destroy public safety in this city all together. Tragically his crusade is costing residents loved ones, these victims have names and families. With SJPD broken and limping into the summer gangs will know a freedom to operate they have not enjoyed for decades. This is sure to be a bloodiest summer in recent memory here in SJ. And when he rides off into the sunset at the end of his term there will be no shortage of victims seeking attorneys willing to take action against a city that failed to provide the most basic of constitutional rights. But hey, Go A’s!

    • > God help us ALL survive this Mayor and his co-conspirators.

      Well, I guess if it comes down to a choice between a city government and a police force, you would come down on the side of a police force.

      Undoubtedly, that would make revenue generation easier.  We probably WOULD be able to afford the largest, best paid, and best pensioned police force the world has have seen.

      We could keep the horse patrol, the police and fireman’s ball, and feel really, really safe.

      Except from the police.

    • What’s the difference between the SJPD and a protection racket?

      A protection racket says: “something bad might happen to you if we don’t get all the money we want”.

      The SJPD says: “something bad might happen to you if … um … if … um … if you don’t pay us all our pensions and salaries and retirements, BUT IT’S NOT FOR US, WE’RE THINKING OF YOU—it’s so something bad doesn’t happen to YOU.”

      There’s a big difference. See.

    • Prior to 9/11/01, New York City had a homicide rate of about 2400/year.  It’s now down to 400/year.

      Anyone wanna go back there and ask the cops and the city govt. how they did it?

      Oh, sorry, that would make too much bloody sense.

    • We have already passed last years total, prior to any layoffs.  So, it seems specious to make a direct connection between the number of officers and the number of homicides.

      • What has happened since last year are the teams that were dedicated to gang violence have disappeared. While there have not been any layoffs, effects have been similiar as no officers have been hired in 2 years, and many have left, leaving gaping holes in patrol and investigative units. Also, if you want to compare us to New York, they have 35,000 police officers for 8 million people. Per capita, that is twice that of San Jose. That includes the 10 or so officers the San Jose Police Department lured into coming here from New York several years ago, and are now going to be fired.

  3. Twenty one sounds like a small number for a densely populated city. How many of these homicides were not gang related or were not solved at the scene?

    I believe one if any were random.

    • Could your callus comment be because you have not seen someone you love being murdered? How about anyone being murdered in front of you?  How could you think twenty people who lost their lives over mindless killing small?

      Everyone of those murders that could have prevented should be prevented. It is called having a proactive police force, which we used to have.  Which is why we “were” the safest big city in the United States even with a less than required level of police per capita.  Now with a lot less we are going to see much more violence than we had in the past.  I sincerely hope you are not thinking that just because you and your friends are not gang people or hang around gang infested areas you are safe.  Just remember Bryan Stow, although it did not occur here, this scenario can easily play out here if we don’t have enough police to proactive patrol the streets and keep violent offenders in check.

      • Sorry, I’m on your side but being from Chicago where we get nearly 500 murders a year twenty is hard to fathom. It’s a tough sell for you guys to say crime is out of control when the stat’s don’t support it.

        Until violent crime becomes random in WG, Almaden. Crime stats will support police cuts.

        I’m sure you are a young officer, I wish you luck.

        Police work will be private in the next two decades.

        • Ok, thanks for your information. Don’t take me wrong. I would like to see a 0% murder rate but in a city this size there will always be strength in numbers. I know how the politicians work around here. Unless it affects their community then the crime rates do not matter. So take the total number of violent crimes and subtract what happens outside of the few affluent areas of the city.

          These are the numbers they look at.

        • Actually Chicago had 435 murders last year. A lot for sure but hardly 500. More importantly, Chicago is four times as big as San Jose and the populace is nothing like here demographically. Our average citizen has more education, a job and owns their home. We have no housing projects…yet. The mayor is changing that. I’m from Chicago but I’ll be honest, two thirds of that town is a dump and lives at the poverty level.

  4. > There are an estimated 9,000 gang members in San Jose.

    Wait.  Weren’t we told that gangs were just “community organizations” and that gang members were just part of the vibrant richness and diversity of our tolerant, multi-cultural city?

      • > No, we were never told that.

        Well, it may very well be true that YOU were not told.

        I’m sure there are a lot of things you were never told.

        Were you ever told what passport Obama used to travel to Pakistan?  I wasn’t told either.

  5. Thank you mayor , be careful what you wish for.  Good bye safest city, you will never see it again.

  6. The challenges of public safety are going to only increase in the face of cuts.

    Is it unreasonable to discuss regionalism in terms of public safety.  Does crime really care about municipal boundaries? 

    Also, could you cross train firefighters to be cops and cops to be firefighters like in sunnyvale?  That’d help increase your coverage.  We could always just hire some ambulances to do the medical response thing if they get too busy.

    On a depressing note, I suspect we’ve had a lot more crime for awhile but folks just don’t bother reporting most of it necause they don’t expect anything will be done (bike theft, etc.)  Disconnect from traditional establishment seems most extreme in immigrant communities where there’s a tradition of “not trusting police” and “taking care of it yourself.”

    I think that could be contributing to some of this with folks stabbing and shooting each other over petty stuff.  I also think tbere’s cycles that effect this like the economy and other factors.

    I expect that folks with money can still live in a virtual safest big city by moving into gated communities or secure high rises, etc.

  7. Oh, no, the number of spanish surnamed victims was higher than the spanish surnamed percentage of the general population.  Where’s Raj to decry it?

    Another oh no—the majority of the homicides were east of 101.  What a bloody surprise, eh?

    Let’s see, do ya think the vast majority of the perps were also spanish surnamed?

    OH NO, Mr. Bill, you can’t rely on statistics to show where the problem is…someone on this PC blog might call you a racist.