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Pair of overnight Vallejo homicides prompt dueling statements from city, police union

After two men were killed overnight in Vallejo, the city’s 20th and 21st homicides of 2020, the local police union on Thursday added to criticisms it lobbed earlier in the week at the city and police department brass.

In the first killing, police responded at 8:18 p.m. Wednesday to reports of shots in the 200 block of Maine Street and found the adult male victim lying in the street. He was pronounced dead at the scene, said Vallejo Police Department public information officer Brittany Jackson. His name is being withheld until his next of kin are notified, Jackson said.

In the second killing, about 12:10 a.m. Thursday, police who responded to reports of gunshots and a collision in the area of Vanessa and Adele streets found multiple bullet casings outdoors in the 100 block of Adele Street, Jackson said.

Staff at a local hospital, which was not identified, reported to police that a man suffering from at least one gunshot wound had been brought in, Jackson said. She said the man was pronounced dead later Thursday morning, and his identity is being withheld pending notification of his family.

Before the Vallejo Police Department released information about the killings, the Vallejo Police Officers’ Association released its own statement criticizing city officials and Police Chief Shawny Williams.

The union said the city:

“… is applying a Band-aid to a serious murder and crime spree, when it should be taking long-term actions to correct a life-threatening situation for Vallejo citizens.”

The association, which represents 105 sworn Vallejo officers, on Monday had issued a statement headlined “Citizens endangered by city’s failure to hire police.” It argued that Vallejo has too few officers -– fewer per resident than Oakland or Richmond -– and this forces officers to work overtime and leads to fatigue, dangerous working conditions and less effective policing.

In their own statement on Tuesday, the city and police department expressed disappointment in the association’s tactics, and outlined a series of steps that Williams, who joined the department in November 2019, has taken to bolster its ranks.

Neither city officials nor Jackson, the police department spokeswoman, responded to a request for comment on the latest Vallejo Police Officers’ Association.

Anyone with information about the shootings Wednesday night and Thursday morning is asked to call Detective Long at 707-648-4514 or Detective Caitham at 707-648-4280.

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