With a recent burst of gang activity across the city, San Diego police will now change their tactics to address a summer of violent crimes.
The San Diego Police Department confirmed nearly 500 gang-related crimes committed over the summer. This includes shootings, retaliation attacks, and other violent crimes.
In 2018, there were six gang-related homicides. So far in 2019, officers confirmed 10 gang-related homicides.
To address this uptick, SDPD told NBC 7 they’ve increased visibility on the streets and changed the way they operate behind the scenes.
Eliana Gonzalez, a Logan Heights resident, said her community is much safer than it used to be, but she has noticed an increase in patrol cars in her neighborhood.
“It’s a little unfortunate because I felt like the community was going together and rising well, and then this, kind of, happens and then makes it looks like a negative thing, but, you know, if we all work together and if we all speak up, I feel like the community can become the best homes for everyone,” Gonzalez said.
And earlier this year, San Diego police renamed their Gang Suppression Team to the Special Operations Unit. This change expanded their roles to go after various violent criminals and not just those in gangs, according to police.
The officers in this unit don’t get assigned radio calls, so they said they are able to do more proactive work.
While SDPD confirmed there has been an uptick in violent crime, crime in general has hit an all-time low in San Diego.