For release on February 7, 2020
Supervising Deputy District Attorney
Crime Strategies Unit
DA and SJPD Using New Plan to Target Armed and Violent Criminals
The Santa Clara County DA’s Office and the San Jose Police Department have teamed up to form a new strategy to take weapons from the hands of violent criminals and to take violent criminals from the streets.
Announced during Gun Violence Prevention Week, the “Priority Gun Offender” plan was crafted to drive down gang gun violence.
The DA’s Crime Strategies Unit will work closely with the SJPD’s vaunted special operations teams to identify and arrest wanted criminals and seize their illegal weapons.
DA Jeff Rosen said: “We will not wait until there are bodies in our streets. We are not waiting until an innocent person is caught in a crossfire. The San Jose Police Department and my Office are using our combined forces to do everything we possibly can to stop shootings before they happen.”
Aggravated gun assaults have risen in San Jose over the last decade. Much of that violence is generated by criminal street gangs.
Priority Gun Offenders are people who present a significant danger to the public due to their illegal possession of a firearm, repeated arrests for gun crimes, and/or their involvement in gun-related aggravated assaults.
The program coordinates investigative efforts of police detectives and analysts from the Crime Strategies Unit to identify Priority Gun Offenders. SJPD Special Operations teams are assigned to locate and arrest armed criminals who are currently wanted and have been identified as likely to commit imminent violence in San Jose.
Since the pilot launch of the program began in October, the teams have arrested violent gang members and seized assault rifles, “ghost guns,” handguns, illegal cash and cocaine.
San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia said: “Illegally possessed or illegally manufactured firearms used by prolific criminals drive gun violence in our community. We are focusing our resources on these types of offenders and illegal guns. Early signs of success with the program are a testament to the close collaboration with our District Attorney’s Office.”
DA Rosen and the head of the DA’s Crime Strategies Unit Marisa Mckeown are available for media interviews upon request.