SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – This weekend, hundreds if not thousands of Cinco de Mayo revelers are expected to flood into downtown San Jose, prompting law enforcement to increase staffing levels in the hopes of preventing clashes between rival gangs.

The San Jose Police Department has expressed concern about the combination of larges crowds and a recent spike in gang activity.

San Jose police said their preparations include more on-duty officers and traffic diversion plans.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s office will also put more deputies on duty and focus on patrolling a Cinco de Mayo festival at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds on Sunday, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Jose Cardoza.

“Historically, we have gang-related type crime at the fairgrounds during the Cinco de Mayo Festival,” Cardoza said.

He said last year there were 12 arrests at the festival, seven of which were gang-related.

The increased staffing levels were to be in place Friday through Sunday.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

“We’re trying to do the best we can with the resources that we have,” explained SJPD spokesman, Officer Jose Garcia.

The foot and vehicle traffic diversion plans, which the department did not elaborate on, will only be implemented in cases of traffic gridlock or unsafe pedestrian behavior, police said.

San Jose police said that while they welcome people to partake in the weekend’s celebrations, they ask that they do so lawfully.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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