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California city grapples with spike in killings

When Betty Saffi moved to San Bernardino a year ago she was thrilled to slash her commute and slice USD 400 off her monthly rent.

Now, the 57-year-old medical marketing saleswoman is yearning to leave. She said drugs are peddled in broad daylight outside her home, a naked woman sifts through a nearby trash bin and she reads headlines almost daily about shootings in the city 55 miles east of Los Angeles.

"There's killings almost every day," said Saffi, who moved from neighboring Riverside County. "You just have to watch yourself."

The city of 216,000, which has struggled to emerge from bankruptcy and still is trying to recover from the shock of last December's terror attack that killed 14, is grappling with a spike in violent crime and, especially, homicides.

So far this year, the city has reported 49 killings, already more than last year's total which included the victims.

Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said the crime wave isn't unique to the city, where empty storefronts and pawn shops have long lined downtown streets. While violent crime is nowhere near the levels of the 1990s, many major cities most notably Chicago - are seeing big jumps in homicides. I n San Bernardino, Burguan said California's relation of certain drug penalties and a shortage of local police officers have helped fuel the increase.

"It was much easier before to flood the streets when we see an increase," he said, adding that most killings are retaliations for recent crimes. "Right now, we do not have the capacity."

In more than 70 per cent of the city's homicides this year, the suspect had a criminal record, and in more than 60 per cent of cases, so did the person killed, he said.

Burguan said he's fusing his drug and gang teams to try to bolster crime-fighting. He's also hiring 30 new police officers and hopes to bring the 220-officer force back up to at least 300 once San Bernardino emerges from federal bankruptcy protection.

City spokeswoman Monica Lagos said that could happen next year. Already, San Bernardino is restoring services lost during the downturn such as youth sports and economic development. That should help boost public safety, but the rash of killings doesn't aid efforts underway to draw new business, she said, noting the recent additions of a new medical center and retail.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Business Standard

California city grapples with spike in killings

AP  |  San Bernardino 

When Betty Saffi moved to San Bernardino a year ago she was thrilled to slash her commute and slice USD 400 off her monthly rent.

Now, the 57-year-old medical marketing saleswoman is yearning to leave. She said drugs are peddled in broad daylight outside her home, a naked woman sifts through a nearby trash bin and she reads headlines almost daily about shootings in the city 55 miles east of Los Angeles.



"There's killings almost every day," said Saffi, who moved from neighboring Riverside County. "You just have to watch yourself."

The city of 216,000, which has struggled to emerge from bankruptcy and still is trying to recover from the shock of last December's terror attack that killed 14, is grappling with a spike in violent crime and, especially, homicides.

So far this year, the city has reported 49 killings, already more than last year's total which included the victims.

Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said the crime wave isn't unique to the city, where empty storefronts and pawn shops have long lined downtown streets. While violent crime is nowhere near the levels of the 1990s, many major cities most notably Chicago - are seeing big jumps in homicides. I n San Bernardino, Burguan said California's relation of certain drug penalties and a shortage of local police officers have helped fuel the increase.

"It was much easier before to flood the streets when we see an increase," he said, adding that most killings are retaliations for recent crimes. "Right now, we do not have the capacity."

In more than 70 per cent of the city's homicides this year, the suspect had a criminal record, and in more than 60 per cent of cases, so did the person killed, he said.

Burguan said he's fusing his drug and gang teams to try to bolster crime-fighting. He's also hiring 30 new police officers and hopes to bring the 220-officer force back up to at least 300 once San Bernardino emerges from federal bankruptcy protection.

City spokeswoman Monica Lagos said that could happen next year. Already, San Bernardino is restoring services lost during the downturn such as youth sports and economic development. That should help boost public safety, but the rash of killings doesn't aid efforts underway to draw new business, she said, noting the recent additions of a new medical center and retail.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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California city grapples with spike in killings

When Betty Saffi moved to San Bernardino a year ago she was thrilled to slash her commute and slice USD 400 off her monthly rent. Now, the 57-year-old medical marketing saleswoman is yearning to leave. She said drugs are peddled in broad daylight outside her home, a naked woman sifts through a nearby trash bin and she reads news headlines almost daily about shootings in the city 55 miles east of Los Angeles. "There's killings almost every day," said Saffi, who moved from neighboring Riverside County. "You just have to watch yourself." The city of 216,000, which has struggled to emerge from bankruptcy and still is trying to recover from the shock of last December's terror attack that killed 14, is grappling with a spike in violent crime and, especially, homicides. So far this year, the city has reported 49 killings, already more than last year's total which included the terrorism victims. Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said the crime wave isn't unique to the city, where empty ... When Betty Saffi moved to San Bernardino a year ago she was thrilled to slash her commute and slice USD 400 off her monthly rent.

Now, the 57-year-old medical marketing saleswoman is yearning to leave. She said drugs are peddled in broad daylight outside her home, a naked woman sifts through a nearby trash bin and she reads headlines almost daily about shootings in the city 55 miles east of Los Angeles.

"There's killings almost every day," said Saffi, who moved from neighboring Riverside County. "You just have to watch yourself."

The city of 216,000, which has struggled to emerge from bankruptcy and still is trying to recover from the shock of last December's terror attack that killed 14, is grappling with a spike in violent crime and, especially, homicides.

So far this year, the city has reported 49 killings, already more than last year's total which included the victims.

Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said the crime wave isn't unique to the city, where empty storefronts and pawn shops have long lined downtown streets. While violent crime is nowhere near the levels of the 1990s, many major cities most notably Chicago - are seeing big jumps in homicides. I n San Bernardino, Burguan said California's relation of certain drug penalties and a shortage of local police officers have helped fuel the increase.

"It was much easier before to flood the streets when we see an increase," he said, adding that most killings are retaliations for recent crimes. "Right now, we do not have the capacity."

In more than 70 per cent of the city's homicides this year, the suspect had a criminal record, and in more than 60 per cent of cases, so did the person killed, he said.

Burguan said he's fusing his drug and gang teams to try to bolster crime-fighting. He's also hiring 30 new police officers and hopes to bring the 220-officer force back up to at least 300 once San Bernardino emerges from federal bankruptcy protection.

City spokeswoman Monica Lagos said that could happen next year. Already, San Bernardino is restoring services lost during the downturn such as youth sports and economic development. That should help boost public safety, but the rash of killings doesn't aid efforts underway to draw new business, she said, noting the recent additions of a new medical center and retail.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

image
Business Standard
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