Local law enforcement joins to organize a gang sweep - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Local law enforcement joins to organize a gang sweep after a rise in shootings

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- A String of gang related shootings in Kennewick has spurred all local law enforcement to join forces and  organize a three day gang sweep in less than 24 hours.

"When people start shooting weapons off in our jurisdictions, in our cities, in our towns, we take that personally," says Kennewick Police Chief Ken Hohenberg who called his law enforcement friends last week to get the ball rolling.

Two dozen detectives, officers, sheriffs worked with the US marshals to do the sweep Tuesday through Thursday. It resulted in 25 arrests, 20 felony charges, 14 misdemeanors, two ICE arrests and five of those arrested were juveniles.  Police also conducted eight search warrants.

"We're not going to tolerate gang activity in the tri-cities. And we're not going to give up on this, and we're going to continue to press hard and do what we need to do to try and get these kids out of gangs," say Benton County Sheriff Steve Keane, whose new Gang Task Force has been instrumental in the sweep.

Most importantly,  Hohenberg says all the local law enforcement leaders meet each week to make sure they stay on top of the information, share it within a database and work together sharing resources.

"When these things occur, we know who is doing what. We know where to go, how to get there and where to go. When somebody thinks everything happens in Pasco, it doesn't.  But that doesn't mean its that far away from the other cities and that's why we all work together," says Pasco Police Chief Robert Metzger.

The agencies also started a Gang hotline to get anonymous tips about gang activity.  That number is 509-551-GANG.

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