Monterey County

Salinas Police Department gives possible reasons behind recent Chinatown violence

Police ride-along in Chinatown

SALINAS, Calif. - Fueled by drugs, the town that never sleeps.

"I mean it slows down later, but pretty much up all night," said Salinas Officer Jeff Arensdorf.

In the wake of three homicides over the past three weeks, Salinas Police are making their presence known. Drug trafficking is one theory to the recent uptick in violence.

"The dynamics of who's in control and who's dealing and in charge down here certainly changes and evolves could be part of the reason for the violence down here. When law enforcement targets a specific group, which we have over the years, the problem with that is that once you remove a group of individuals it creates a vacuum. And there always is someone that will fill that hole," said Salinas Police Department Commander David Crabill.

A hole that's hard to escape, even for the innocent.

"One of the concerns we have is for the vulnerable population. And to be straight forward there are lots of people scared to death. They do want us down here. But there has been a significant improvement in the lifestyle down here," said Crabill.

One of the improvements is the new Chinatown Health Center. It will offer addiction outpatient services.

"There's blight, narcotic addicts, criminals, drug dealers. But believe it or not, there are a lot of good people down here that are seeking resources and that want help," said Crabill.

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