Gang Probationers Focus of Police Sweep


Simi Valley police this week paid early morning visits to 14 gang members and associates who are on probation, and found that 12 were violating their agreements with the court.

Violations included possession of drugs, drug paraphernalia, graffiti instruments, gang graffiti and other items, said Simi Valley Police Lt. Jon Ainsworth. In one case, a probationer was found in possession of baggy pants that he had agreed not to wear because they symbolize gang involvement, Ainsworth said.

Ventura County probation officers accompanied Simi Valley officers on the Tuesday sweep and will evaluate the items found to determine whether to alter the probation conditions of those in violation or pursue further legal action against them.


Ainsworth, who heads the department’s Special Enforcement Detail, said the periodic sweeps are a way to crack down on gang activity.

“We want to periodically remind them that we know who they are and we know where they are,” Ainsworth said. “The effect of showing up at any time reminds them that we are paying attention to their presence in the community, their gang involvement and their status as a probationer.”