Inside the Chico Gang Task Force

Jun 17, 2013 6:57 PM

It's been well documented. Crime is on the rise in Chico. Police say much of the recent violence is gang-related. Members of the newly-reformed Chico Gang Task Force say they don't expect to rid Chico of gangs, but they do plan to keep them in check. Last fall, the unit was disbanded because those officers were needed on patrol. Recently, the department decided there was a great need for the unit on the streets, and it was put back together. Friday night, the unit was out performing probation checks, looking for documented gang members, and making sure they were compliant with the terms of their probation. That means they can't possess gang colors, and other gang-related items. One member says, "The main gang that we target is the Norteno criminal street gang here in Chico. They're affiliated with red, and they're from Northern California." He says the Surenos wear blue, and they're from Southern California, though many live in Chico. The two gangs are rivals, and the task force says much of the recent gang activity in Chico can be linked to either group. Another task force member says, "Where you are when gang violence breaks out, it probably doesn't affect you until that time. If you're an unfortunate bystander, that's why everyone should be concerned." Friday's sweep netted several gang members in violation of their probation terms.


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