Gang violence a continuing problem in SSF
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KGO) -- Suspected gang members arrested Thursday in that huge gang sweep appeared in federal court Friday. They're facing all sorts of charges, murder being the most serious. Nineteen people are incustody following the raid that was the result of a year-long investigation. Police say gangs are still a problem in South San Francisco, but Thursday's raids were a step in the right direction.
In South San Francisco, the police gang unit was out again cruising gang neighborhoods. Sgt. Danny Gill saw several young people he didn't recognize during his rounds Friday. He questioned them, took notes and photographed them.
Police say Thursday's large scale gang sweep destroyed the core of two violent Norteno factions in South San Francisco -- the 500 Block and C-Street gangs. But they say there are still three active Norteno gangs left.
"If you're involved in gang activity, we will pull in every single resource to insure that you're off the streets," Gill said.
Gill heads the newly formed neighborhood response team -- four officers assigned fulltime to fight gangs.
Last fall, Gill took an ABC7 crew out into gang turf of the Cypress Park Locos, one of the five Norteno gangs at the time. During the ride along, two gunshots rang out.
Gill says the shots are an example of just how bold the gangs have become.
"It could have been the gangsters letting us know they know we're here or a warning, 'this is our turf, not yours,'" Gill said.
His team made numerous arrests that night, all of them wearing the Norteno's color -- red shoes, red caps, red underwear, even tiny red stitching on shirts.
Gill told ABC7 Friday so far, they've confiscated 21 handguns.
"This is within about a year of operating with the neighborhood response team, in addition to making well over 300 arrests," Gill said.
But Gill says arrests alone won't make a difference; it's their work with youngsters that will.
"Interact with the kids in after school programs to show a positive light to these children, as far as what police officers are all about," Gill said.
Fifteen of the 19 appeared in court Friday; 13 pleaded not guilty and 2 postponed their pleas because they didn't have lawyers.
gang violence, crime, south san francisco, peninsula news, vic lee
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