SAN DIEGO - Violence in the East Village is nothing new but residents are very concerned about a recent spike in crime and violence.
Just down the street from Petco Park at 14th and K Street homeless individuals sleep on the sidewalks.
According to police, many of the people on the street should be behind bars but due to budget cuts they were released early and these people are not afraid to reoffend.
“For the first time last year, in a five year window, we actually saw crime increase in every single category across the board in the city of San Diego,” San Diego Police Chief Bill Lansdowne said.
This troubling trend brought dozens of concerned East Village residents together to a public safety forum to address the serious safety issues on the streets of East Village.
“It scares me to have my wife walk down the street. If I had a daughter, I would never let her come downtown,” Dennis Mesnick said.
The State department of finance estimated that within two years into the implementation of AB109 – the prison realignment – San Diego County would receive about 2,000 post release community supervision offenders.
“Thus far we’ve had 3,255 PRCS offenders return to San Diego, all the way through January, so that’s substantially more than what was expected,” Lisa Rodriguez with the San Diego District Attorney’s office said.
Chief Lansdowne said the East Village is the best policed area despite being down 150 San Diego police officers.
He said his officers are doing everything they can to make the area safer.
“There’s no silver bullet. There’s no easy answers, but I think that together collaboratively in a partnership we can come up with a better solution and make our community better,” Lisa Lem wit hthe East Village Association said.