SAN JOSE (KCBS) – San Jose has seen its highest homicide rate in almost 15 years. With just a few days left in 2011, 40 people have been killed in the Bay Area’s largest city, so far this year.

The number troubles San Jose officials, even though it’s still lower than San Francisco’s 50, and Oakland’s 102.

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San Jose Police spokesman Jason Dwyer said that the good news is that they were able to keep that number relatively steady during the second half of the year.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

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”We were at 26 homicides at the halfway point,” said Dwyer. “At that point we changed our approach to how we were handling gangs. At the halfway point, 14 of our murders were gang-related, and in the second half of the year only four were.”

Dwyer said that re-deploying the Metro police unit to work exclusively on gangs really helped.

Many of 2011’s homicides were domestic violence related.

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