Tri-Cities law enforcement works together

Tri-Cities law enforcement works together
TRI-CITIES -- KEPR is always tracking the gang activity in our community.

We're looking at the way local agencies work together to put gang-bangers in jail.

In Pasco alone, these joints efforts have led to 60 gang-related arrests already this year.

The strategy for attacking gangs is different across the Tri-Cities.
But each has some sort of investigative unit dedicated to getting gang members off the streets.

They don't just fight the gangs in their borders.

"We've tried to meld those groups together, keep them in a working relationship with each other for them to be able to work back and forth," says Captain Jim Raymond with the Pasco P.D.

Law enforcement keeps tabs on up to 30 known gangs in the Tri-Cities.

They use the same records management system to allow each other to find out if one gang member has been active in a different city.
The agencies hope to use the same radio system in the future -- to make communication more immediate.

Jasmine lives in Pasco. he didn't want to use her last name, but gang violence has severely affected Jasmine's life.

"Last year I had a family member that got shot and killed by a gang member," she says.

Jasmine doesn't think we'll solve the gang problem simply by making arrests. She thinks the effort starts in the home.

"The most important thing right now are teenagers that are going into the wrong directions and I think it's the best thing we can do," she says.

While parents try to tackle that, police will continue to tackle our gang issues. Last fall, every agency was part of a news conference announcing the success of a recent sweep on gangs.

They worked together to go after 66-people wanted on warrants.

"It's not a Pasco problem. It's not a Kennewick problem. It's not a Richland problem. It's a Tri-City problem.
And that problem can only be fixed by working as one," says Pasco Chief of Police Bob Metzger.

Franklin County is still on a different dispatch system than Benton County, which can make it harder for an officer in one spot to hear about trouble in another. Their goals are to bring everyone online in the coming years. Money is the biggest hindrance.