GRESHAM, OREGON It’s almost the end of the school year and the city of Gresham is concerned about gang violence.. Today the city hosted a Gang Prevention summit. It brought together leaders from overlapping service agencies to describe a comprehensive multi- agency plan for gang prevention and enforcement.
Gangs are not new to Gresham and East Multnomah County. Police Chief Craig Junginger comments that gangs have been around in the city over the last 25 years. Gang members don’t fight over turf so much anymore they ‘re into drug trafficking and sex trade operations.
Five of the seven homicides in Gresham in 2013 were gang related That is one shy of the city’s all time high. Last year, Gresham’s Gang unit made contact with some 1,600 criminal street gangs. It documented 190 new members and made 123 felony gang arrests.
Police have reached out to the community using several different organizations to mentor middle school and elementary school students before they get involved in gangs. Citizens should expect to see more police around throughout the Summer.