After a spate of grisly gang murders, Santa Ana police announced the department will expand the days its gang unit will be on the job from four to a full week.
The new “gang suppression strategy” was a response to seven gang-related killings and other crimes so far this year, according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, the department’s spokesman.
The 10 or so officers, corporal and sergeant devoted to the gang unit will now be available seven days a week instead of four, Bertagna said. Acting Chief David Valentin is likely to add more officers from the department to the gang unit, but it was not clear how many, Bertagna said.
One benefit of the plan is that experienced gang-unit officers can respond to violence or other crimes every day of the week, Bertagna said.
“Our message to the gangs is simple — our community is demanding that the violence stop,” Mayor Miguel Pulido said. “Chief Valentin’s gang suppression plan will improve our ability to hold gang members accountable for their destructive behaviors.”
City Councilman Jose Solorio, who chairs the city’s public safety committee, supported the plan
“Gangs are active seven days a week, so our anti-gang unit should be too,” Solorio said. “Reducing gang violence through prevention, intervention and enforcement is a top city priority.”
–City News Service
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