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May 05

The Story of Operation William Street

Posted on May 5, 2016 at 2:45 PM by V Rodriguez

It's about working together to attack a gang problem head-on. It's about empowering San José police officers to do their jobs. It's about giving patrol the latitude to address what requires attention the most. This is what Operation William Street is about and much more.

Captain Anthony Ciaburro, who serves as the Central Division's commander, speaks with humility about his cadre of officers who banded together to squelch the violence in an area known as William Street, located around the San José State University campus and Interstate 280. The men in blue who make up Operation William Street are: Sergeant Lee Tassio, Officer Steve Fries, Officer John Prim, Officer Dan Pfiefer, Officer Jason Weber, Officer Sam Patterson and Officer Ruben Sanchez.

"These are a motivated group of officers," Capt. Ciaburro explained. "We are giving them the support they need to be pro-active in addressing the increase in gang violence.”

A brazen gang-related incident during daylight hours in September jumpstarted Operation William Street. At that point, many neighbors hid behind locked doors and closed their window blinds. They avoided having their children play in the front yard. They were aware that Sureno street gang activity and the violence associated with them were escalating. Then, on a city sidewalk, a Norteno rival was nearly killed by gunfire at 4:30 in the afternoon. That eruption of gang violence during the day spurred members of SJPD's District King team to partner with other like-minded agencies to take the streets back from violence and return it to the hard-working people who live there.

Captain Ciaburro wrote in his Captain's Corner blog, "they collaborated with the University Police Department, worked with the Santa Clara County Juvenile Probation Department, and teamed up with the Gang Investigations Unit to thwart the violent activity of Varrio William Street. This entailed probation searches, the obtaining and execution of search warrants, motorized and foot patrolling of hot spots and an effort to let the neighborhood know that SJPD was working in their community."

Since then, the officers have made 50 self-initiated arrests and conducted over 100 contacts with gang members and high risk individuals. In addition, the Central Division had zero reported violent gang-related incidents in February 2014. No question, Operation William Street is making strides in bringing tranquility back to the neighborhood.

In the NBC Bay Area report, join Captain Ciaburro as he walks the beat in William Street.

This story is the latest installment of our “Bright Spots,” profiles of City employees who demonstrate the real impact of everyday heroes throughout our organization.
If you have information that your department would like to share with other City employees, please contact Employee Communications.


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