The injunction was filed following complaints from residents about gang activities in two areas that have now been designated “Safety Zones”. One is in the Mission Avenue, Division Street, Horne Street and Interstate 5 region and the other starts at Highway 76 from Interstate 5 and encompasses a large area that includes the 1000 block of Civic Center.
The order lists 20 specific actions that are prohibited by defendants, including associating with other gang members, wearing gang colors, or flashing gang hand signs. Other provisions ban activities which are already illegal, such as drinking alcohol or using drugs in public, possessing weapons, trespassing, and graffiti. It is a pro-active tool that allows officers to arrest named gang members if they have a can of spray paint or a Sharpie pen in their possession. Violating the order can result in criminal prosecution and bring a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.
This is the 19th injunction against street gangs filed in San Diego County. I commend District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and her office for a relentless, pro-active approach to this form of law enforcement. The injunction process dates back to 1995 when there were ten homicides in Balderama Park on Oceanside’s eastside. Working with the District Attorney, we have used the injunctions to take back neighborhoods from gangs such as the Varrio Posole Locos that were the target of the most recent court action.
I appreciate the dedicated efforts of Dana Greisen, Chief of the District Attorney’s Gangs Division, Shawnalyse Ochoa, Deputy District Attorney and all law enforcement professionals for their part in reducing gang activity. Chief McCoy says gang crime in Oceanside is down 22 percent so far this year compared with 2009.
In this edition of the Word, I’ll be sharing news of the opening of the first phase of our new County Operations Center in Kearny Mesa, the results of an emergency drill at Palomar Airport and a special salute to a centenarian and aviation pioneer, Bill Gibbs who helped me get my private pilot’s license 48 years ago.
Thanks for letting me use this way of keeping in touch with you.