“The gangs don’t know any boundaries anymore. We have a number of gangs that operate in Glendale, as well as in Burbank and Pasadena. We have violence sort of intra-Glendale as well as violence that comes from outside of Glendale. This legislation will provide additional resources.”
During his previous service in the state Legislature, Schiff backed efforts to invest resources in preventive gang enforcement — a strategy that studies showed to be successful, he said.
In light of that, a key component of the bill is ensuring a similar balance of funding, he said.
“I wanted to try to replicate some of those efforts on the federal level,” he said.
Gang arrests in Glendale are up this year, but overall gang activity has decreased, partly because of routine parole and probation checks conducted on known gang members who have criminal records, Lt. Rod Brooks said.
“Our strategy is essentially a zero-tolerance approach to gang activity,” he said.
“We . . . conduct regular probation and parole searches, which are very useful tools for gang suppression . . . because they’ve been in trouble with the law and they’ve got records and they’ve got conditions with their parole or probation, which allows us to essentially do a door-knock and search the residence for any contraband.”
A court injunction on gangs in Los Angeles that makes it illegal for gangs to congregate and engage in other activity has driven some gang members into adjacent cities like Glendale, he said.
“So as a result of that injunction — which has been very successful — the gang members tend to retreat into cities that are not a part of that injunction and, of course, we’re right on the border, so on occasion they cross over into our cities,” Brooks said.
That crossover aside, gang activity in Glendale has never been about gangs continually fighting over territory, he added.
“Glendale doesn’t have that problem that other law enforcement agencies do,” he said.
“We’re not fighting to regain territory. . . . It’s never been lost, and that’s what our citizens are accustomed to.”