Stockton Police Department has largest police force in its history

443 police officers are now employed by the Stockton Police Department, the highest in history.

60-year-old Henry Raygoza has lived in Stockton all his life. 

The long time gardener says more officers are good but improvement needs to happen for two reasons.

“Lack of communication and lack of unity," said Raygoza.

Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones says he is all for improvement and the 443 officer milestone is an important one for the community.

“Especially when we had a high of 441 previously about a decade ago. That was prior to the city filing for bankruptcy and prior to us cutting 100 positions from the police department," said Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones.

A swearing in ceremony Tuesday happened for five new hires, including newest police officer Casey McLanahan.

“I haven’t grown up yet. I still need to learn a lot of the streets. But I feel once I get that, everything should go smooth from here," said Casey McLanahan.

People told us they want the police to be more visible and more proactive with more patrols and improved traffic enforcement.

It’s something Chief Jones says he is all for.

“And we have found the community wants to see more of the police officers. But I think I hear more than just seeing officers, they want to get to know the officers. They want the officers to get out of the patrol car and have interactions with them," says Chief Jones.

From March of 2017 to a year ago, the crime statistics are mixed.

Homicides are the same at seven, but burglary and forcible rape are down. However, motor vehicle theft is up by nearly 40 percent.

The plan is to hire 40 more officers bringing the total to 485 next year.

That’s something Henry Raygoza is happy to hear, but he believes the real answer is harmony in the community.

“We are all in here together so let’s work together," said Raygoza.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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