The Bakersfield Police Department says gang-related shootings in the city have significantly dropped since the beginning of the year.
But, officials say with the drop in shootings, gang activity is still a big issue.
Since January, there have been 32 gang-related shootings in Bakersfield, eight of them were homicides.
Bakersfield Police say more enforcement and gang awareness programs are helping the city tremendously.
"In order for us to truly reduce the amount of violence, it's going to take the community wide effort," said Lt. Greg Terry, Bakersfield Police Department.
Police say gang violence is a big issue in the city.
In 2011, there were 15 gang-related shootings. In 2012, there were 31 gang-related shootings, more than double the previous year.
So far in 2013, the department reports 32 shootings, all gang related.
Bakersfield police say 20 of those shootings happened within the first two months of this year.
However, police say there has been a significant drop in gang-related shootings.
Since April, there have been 12 shootings, an average of three per month.
"There's no question that a lot of these programs and the intervention and prevention services and the programs that are ongoing absolutely help with it," said Terry.
Isiah Crompton is the director for Stop the Violence, an organization created to help combat violence in Bakersfield.
"It's important to have a relationship with the community. How can you help someone if you don't have a relationship with them and you don't know them," said Crompton.
Crompton says he believes people join gangs to find acceptance, but in some cases, he says they end up in jail or dead.
"What's unnatural about it is that the kids are supposed to bury their parents, not the parents bury their kids. So, it's just an unnatural hurt, an unnatural pain that we see."
Bakersfield Police say with gang outreach programs, they hope gang-related shootings and violence will continue to decline.
"With our enforcement efforts and the community based efforts giving people alternatives to that type of lifestyle, sure, it is greatly affected and can have a great impact on what occurs in the future," continued Terry.
Crompton says many gang prevention programs in Bakersfield offer counseling and leadership opportunities.