Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva
STOCKTON, CA - Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva is taking his push for a half cent tax for more police officers into the streets.
"Especially, when we have a city under seige. I really need to get a handle on what they do and what they're facing every day," said Silva, as he stepped out of police cruiser Friday night after a high speed ride to a call.
On Friday night, Silva went on a ride-along with Stockton's finest. Silva said he is proposing a new half-cent tax to beef up a department that is more than 100 officers below it's peak level of several years ago.
Violent crime is up in Stockton and last year was a record year for murders.
"If you want a better life here in Stockton, if you want your families and children to be safe, then you might have to pay a little bit more," Silva suggested.
Stockton police have had to slash their narcotics unit and are no longer putting resource officers at local schools.
"If folks are willing to pay perhaps a half cent sales tax, then they're going to have more police officers on the streets and then we're going to inundate these streets with police," Silva said.
The police sergeant the mayor rode along with stopped a prostitute on Stockton's south side. The sergeant talked to the young woman, reminding her of the dangers and urging her to get off the streets for good.
"What are you gonna do if you get stabbed or raped?" the sergeant asked the woman.
"We might have saved her life just by getting her off the streets tonight," Silva said.
He believes his constituents are willing to tax themselves to get more officers on the streets.
"I think people are willing to pay for a tax, especially if it sunsets one day and (we) make sure that it can only be used for the police department and that is it," Silva said. "I think people are willing to do that."