SAN JOSE (KCBS) — Following the murders of five people in San Jose last week, a state lawmaker is urging the San Jose Police Department to ask for additional help from the California Highway Patrol.

Assembly Speaker pro Tempore Nora Campos (D-San Jose), a former San Jose City Councilmember, sent a letter to acting Chief of Police Larry Esquivel saying it’s time to bring in the CHP as reinforcement.

“Basically what my letter says is that we’re at 21 homicides [in 2013]; five homicides in one week, a stabbing by Santana Row, two teens, 15 and 17 shot and killed near East San Jose. There is so much violence that is taking place in the city of San Jose and we know that our police department is understaffed,” Campos told KCBS.

She wrote, “After last week’s homicides, our city is currently on pace to eclipse last year’s (homicide) total.”

Campos said assistance from the Highway Patrol would not cost the city anything.

“The first step has to start with the city of San Jose. They have to place a call to the CHP Chief requesting that they would like to sit down and explore what would be the options and how the assistance could take place,” she said.

In a statement, the San Jose Police Department said they have enough resources and do not plan on reaching out to other law enforcement agencies.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)