Santa Ana Police Department looks to combat increased gang violence

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Santa Ana police officers conduct compliance checks on known gang members on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016.

Santa Ana police officers unrolled crime tape at a suspected gang-related shooting on West 10th street Tuesday afternoon.

Police said a man in his 20s was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound. This marks the 27th shooting or stabbing in the city since the new year began. Police said most of them involve gangs.

"With the proliferation of all this violence and these handguns that are involved in these incidents, it's a real big concern for us at the police department," said Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas about the uptick in gang violence.

Just hours before the shooting, Santa Ana police led a response to the spike with an early morning probation sweep.

With the help of several agencies, including the US Marshals and the Orange County sheriff's SWAT team, officers made compliance checks on 25 known gang members on probation for various crimes.

Police said many of them fall under AB109, the state law that releases low-level inmates from prison.

"What we're trying to do is really get ahead of the wave that we believe is coming in terms of an increased crime rate," Rojas explained.

At the first location of the sweep, authorities confiscated a revolver and a rifle hidden underneath a van on South Townsend Street.

At each location, officers questioned the probationer, then searched through apartments, homes, cars looking for drug paraphernalia, weapons, ammunition, anything that would be a probation violation. Officers arrested four probationers during the course of the operation.

"We're going to use every resource that we have available to hold you accountable," said Sgt. Gil Hernandez. "To the community, we're going to use every resource we have available to us to protect you."

Police said the man shot on Tuesday is expected to survive, while the search continues for the shooter or shooters. They also said officers will do what it takes to curb the violence one gun and one arrest at a time.

"These arrests, these seizures were huge for us this morning," said Hernandez.

In response to the uptick in activity, the Santa Ana Police Department Gang Unit plans to utilize operations like the sweep more often than in past years.
Related Topics:
gang activitygang violencegun violenceSanta AnaOrange County
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