STOCKTON, CA - After another violent week in Stockton, police admit with each new shooting investigation, other investigations get pushed back.
"If you have one shooting and respond to that and then another happens, we drop what we're dong on the first and respond to the second. When we have time and leads, we can go back and work that (first) shooting," said department spokesman Officer Joe Silva.
This week in Stockton, three people were shot on Monday afternoon in a cul de sac. On Tuesday, four men were arrested after a shooting in a drugstore. Wednesday, three people were injured after a shooting on California Street. Thursday, one man was killed and another injured by police, after a high speed chase and shootout in the city's Louis Park neighborhood.
"What happens to older ones [investigations] not finished that still need work, you try and keep up," said retired Stockton homicide detective Mel Greer.
He said investigations can suffer when detectives get new assignments added to their to-do list.
"Perhaps you have a search warrant of phone records, or evidence you want processed, some of that stuff may have to wait. You're always better the closer you are to the event. The further it gets down the road, people's memories may fade a bit," said Greer.
Greer also said he's heard from current cops that crime suspects are fully aware the department staffing is way down from previous years.
"When they've arrested individuals, they've made comments, 'you got me this time, you won't get me next time, there's not enough of you guys around to catch me,'" said Greer.
Even though Stockton police officers have been reduced by about 100 from previous years, the number of homicide detectives has remained about the same.