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Daytime Sweeps Extend Crackdown on Gangs

The Los Angeles Police Department’s war on street gangs was extended to daylight hours this week as officers began a crackdown on gang activity near schools, authorities said Wednesday.

“The department is trying to send a message to gang members that we won’t tolerate gang activity around schools,” Sgt. Clay Ferrell of the LAPD’s anti-gang unit said.

Ferrell said members of a 125-officer task force have made 127 arrests since Monday at eight high schools and “a few junior highs” in South-Central Los Angeles and the Harbor area.

Sixty-seven of those arrested were gang members, the sergeant said, and about half of those gang arrests were for felonies. A breakdown of the offenses has not yet been compiled, he said.

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Officers did not confiscate any firearms in their first two days of operations, the sergeant said, but an undetermined amount of drugs has been seized.

“We’re monitoring every high school in South Bureau and any junior high schools with a history of gang problems,” Ferrell said. “Officers are returning truants to schools and arresting gang members they know by sight or are able to spot by their clothing.”

The daytime sweeps will continue through Friday, police said, but future sweeps near schools will not be announced in advance.

Until now, anti-gang sweeps have been conducted at night with as many as 1,000 officers. Last weekend, more than 800 arrests were made during nighttime sweeps of gang-infested areas.

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