Stockton: Unsafe or Misunderstood?

As any long time resident of Stockton knows, this city does not have the best reputation when it comes to crime and safety. High crime rates, gang violence, drug abuse, homelessness and housing foreclosures have all led to a reputation of Stockton as a dangerous city.

The reputation has become so ubiquitous that it has spread all across the state. The reputation has gained some national prominence with rise of Nick and Nate Diaz, two prominent UFC fighters and Stockton natives. The brothers embody the “gangster” ethos that is associated with the city. With the spread of this reputation, potential students considering Pacific as a place to apply could be turned away due to concern for safety.

One student remarked she was told to never leave the campus, “especially at night.” Another student, originally from San Jose, said her friends joked that she was part of a gang now. I was told that Stockton was the “Detroit of California” before moving here, alluding to Detroit’s high crime rates and gang violence.

Natives of Stockton, on the other hand, tell a different story. One native Stocktonian and Pacific Student said that “Being raised in Stockton, I was told to not leave the house often because of the potential danger that could happen to me. It was a struggle for me since I had to walk home from school a lot and I did get into fights on my way home a few times during my senior year of high school. Looking back at it now, I can say that Stockton has gotten safer over the past four years but it still needs improvement.”

Despite the reputation, those who come here do end up loving the city and the campus. Like any city, Stockton does have it’s less than safe areas, but that doesn’t mean that Stockton deserves the reputation it has.

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Ashneil Randhawa

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