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The State : Gang Busters Hit the Street

Riverside police vow that a new anti-gang squad will follow drug-dealing street thugs anywhere, until they are driven from gang-ridden neighborhoods and the entire city. The team, activated this week, is a response to growing gang activity and gang-linked crime. “If they give us any excuse to stop them, we’ll stop them,” Chief Linford L. (Sonny) Richardson said of the gangs, who have set up shop on the city’s east side. Police said gang members in one apartment house belonged to a faction of the notorious Crips, who have been reported moving into cities across the western United States from their base in South-Central Los Angeles. The police team will put up to 30 officers on the streets, Capt. Chuck Hall said. The department has 271 sworn officers. The chief said the team, which will cost about $5,000 in overtime pay a week, will stay together as long as the gangs operate in the city. “We’ll let them decide how long it will last.”


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