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By Henrietta J. Burroughs                
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Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2011  
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at 2:00 p.m.  

                 

The East Palo Alto Police, partnering with parole and probation officials, held an early morning sweep to pick up parole and probation violators in East Palo Alto.

This morning’s operation was the fourth one to take place in the last two weeks. Thus far, these special operations, which have specifically targeted Nortenos and Surenos gang members in East Palo Alto, have led to two arrests.

According to East Palo Alto’s Chief of Police Ron Davis, these sweeps are not about making arrests, but they are focused on increasing the pressure on the city’s gang members to let them know that the violence that they are creating in the community will not be tolerated.

Davis emphasized that this random and repeated pressure on gang members is a way to keep them in check.

Davis also stated that any violence now occurring in the city is related to three things: gang involvement, drug involvement or disputes between two or more parties who know each other and are using violence as a means of reconciling their differences.

These special operations' sweeps that law enforcement officials are now using, which resulted in this morning’s sweep of gang members, were initiated in the aftermath of the murder of three-month-old Izack Jesus Jimenez Garcia and the wounding of his parents, Ivonne Garcia Lopez and Oscar Jimenez when they left a baby shower in East Palo Alto on Sunday, June 5, 2011.

Davis said that he met recently with Garcia Lopez to tell her that her son’s loss has shocked the consciousness of the community and the Bay Area and that he wanted, in memory of her son, to commence activities that would be instrumental in preventing the type of activity that led to her son’s death.

Davis said that Garcia agreed with the activities that he discussed and said that she did not want to see what happened to her family happen again.

As a part of Operation Ceasefire, the East Palo Alto Police Department has scheduled “call-in’s” to occur in July and August. During this operation, known community gang members will be contacted by the police and notified that they will be under continued surveillance and that they will be given access to various community services and assistance if they decide to end their life of crime.

Davis said that we are giving a clear message that we will not tolerate any continued gang violence in East Palo Alto.

 

To contact Henrietta J. Burroughs, the author of this article, email epatoday@epatoday.org.


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