As Sacramento heads for one of its deadliest years in the last two decades, the City Council called Police Chief Albert Nájera for a special session last night, the Sacramento Bee reports. “I want to make it clear, this level of violence is not tolerable,” said Mayor Heather Fargo. Najera agreed that “our young people are killing themselves on the streets and we’ve got to stop that.” With 45 homicides so far this year, the murder total is up almost 40 percent from last year.
In a short-term plan of enforcement and prevention, Nájera will reassign 52 officers from specialized units such as the SWAT team to the existing 37-member gang unit. He’ll also beef up the city’s truancy patrols. Before last night, Najera and Fargo have downplayed Sacramento’s killings, blaming The Bee for exaggerating the issue. They’ve pointed to problems with the way the FBI classifies crimes and stressed the national uptick in violence. Nájera has said that the killings should not overly concern residents because it is criminals who often end up victimized by violent crime.