Multi-agency gang sweeps - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Multi-agency gang sweeps

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More than two dozen suspected gang members are now off the streets in the Tri-Cities. Law enforcement called it "Operation Spring Cleaning".

The crackdown was just one of five gang sweeps in the past 2 years. Wednesday, law enforcement agencies from 11 different agencies made 25 gang related arrests. Most of them were in Pasco; 13 people there taken into custody. 6 arrests were made in Kennewick and the rest from Benton City and Grandview. 7 people arrested were minors.

Benton County Sheriff Steve Keane says they are starting to see more kids being recruited into gangs, especially since the punishment is less severe. "The gang problem is a problem across the United States and different communities have different levels of the gang problem. The strategy is to put things in place ahead of time to be proactive with it, to prevent it from getting out of control," said Keane.

In the last two years, the gang sweeps have taken 185 members off the streets. The agencies stress that this is just the beginning of their effort to get rid of gangs. They say the number of arrests have dropped.