City Devises Plan To Reduce Gang Activity At Beaches, Parks

The city of San Diego is declaring war on gangs, unveiling a new battle plan to keep beaches and parks safe this summer.

The city will have zero tolerance for gangs and their illegal or threatening activities.

The crackdown includes beefed-up patrols and a court order that draws a line in the sand.

San Diego’s world-class beaches attract millions of visitors every summer, including gangs with their threat of violence.

It is a major concern for many beach goers.

“Surely for families that have children, it is a worry and you want to be able to enjoy yourself,” said tourist Larry Panaro.

Business owner Joe Gaglione said, “If they are bringing violence to the beach, it has to be squashed or eliminated.”

The city intends to do just that.

“We want to send a message loud and clear to gangs that there will be zero tolerance for their unlawful activities,” said San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders.

During a news conference at 30th Street and Imperial Avenue -- called "ground zero" for gang activities -- the mayor said police would be very busy in the beach areas.

The San Diego Police Department will be proactively making probation and parole sweeps, and making increased patrols around the beach areas.

In Ocean Beach, the number of walking patrol teams will be increased on boardwalks to enforce alcohol regulations and officers will conduct bar checks to reduce incidents of violent crime, according to Sanders.

San Diego City Attorney Mike Aguirre also announced a court injunction barring members of the notorious West Coast Crips gang from some inner city parks and neighborhoods, where they have been known to congregate and cause trouble.

“What this basically means is if they show up in gang uniforms in restricted areas, police will arrest them immediately,” said Aguirre.

The bottom line is whether in the restricted areas or along the beaches, the message is clear.

“We will not tolerate gang members intimidating members of this community,” said City Councilman Tony Young.

The mayor also announced plans to create San Diego's first ever commision on gang prevention, that starting by September.

The short-term goal of these plans unveiled Wednesday: to reduce gang violence and ultimately eliminate gangs in San Diego.

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