• Gangs Not a Problem in PG

    To paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of gang activity in Pacific Grove are greatly exaggerated, according to Cdr. John Nyunt of the Pacific Grove Police Department.
    Not that there aren’t gang members in town. They live here and they work here, he says, but local police do not see a huge influx of gang members coming to Pacific Grove. Gang members may even be here in order to escape violence in other parts of Monterey County, says Nyunt, who points out that they may have settled their families here as well, or might be just visiting family members when noticed by citizens and police.
    He says a very low percentage of the population in Pacific Grove might be gang members: “I don’t have exact figures, but it’s probably less than one percent.”
    The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office estimates the gang population in Monterey County at 5,000, of which 3,000 or more live in Salinas. The rest are spread from one end of the county to the other.
    Pacific Grove police don’t see it as a big problem right now. Nyunt names on one hand the number of major crimes that local police attribute to gang activity, and that number is spread over seven or eight years.
    But police don’t want citizens to become complacent. “We’re short-handed,” says Nyunt. “We can’t do extra patrols,” so they want citizens to remain vigilant, to lock their cars and doors, and to report potential gang activity. What they don’t want to do is to set up a scare campaign. “Just because someone looks like a gang member doesn’t mean they are on. There are a lot of wannabes out there,” he says. To report suspected gang activity, the public is urged to call Pacific Grove Police at 831-648-3143 or the Monterey County Joint Gang Task Force anonymous tipline at 831-758-7400

    posted to Cedar Street Times on January 30, 2009

    Topics: Front PG News, Marge Ann Jameson

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