STOCKTON, CA - After eight months of research, a criminal justice consultant has offered recommendations as part of Stockton's Marshall Plan.
The Marshall Plan was first introduced by former Mayor Ann Johnston nearly two years ago. Consultant David Bennett from Utah presented his recommendations and other information about Stockton's crime problem to a group of about 100 Friday.
With Stockton's murder rate twice, sometimes three times that of other large California cities, Bennett recommended the city hire another 250 police officers, something that doesn't seem remotely possible considering the city's bankruptcy.
"Bankruptcy is not going to be an excuse, but it is a complicating factor," said City Manager Bob Deis. "General Motors was in bankruptcy and they're in the black now. They designed their recovery plan while they were in bankruptcy, in anticipation of coming out. That's what we're doing here," he said.
The consultant also focused on the idea of putting heavy police presence in "hot" spots where crimes are most likely to occur. Stockton police have already created community response teams to do that work. Those teams have taken hundreds of guns off the streets in recent months and that effort is credited with helping reduce the homicide rate this year.
The Marshall Plan research and recommendations now go to the community as a whole and back to the Stockton City Council for further discussion.