Factors leading up to a Tri-Cities gang sweep - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Factors leading up to a Tri-Cities gang sweep

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Local law enforcement is cracking down on gang activity. Friday we told you about a gang sweep that happened this week. In the sweep, 27 gang members were put behind bars.

The Kennewick Police Chief, Ken Hohenberg, tells me there are lots of factors that go into deciding to carry out a gang sweep.

A big increase in gang violence this year prompted Kennewick, Richland and Pasco Police Departments to team up and conduct the sweep.

Last year, in Kennewick officers responded to 17 violent gang incidents. But this year, Kennewick Police have already responded to 36.

Another issue is an increase in gang graffiti. The graffiti tells messages to rival gangs and shows increased activity.

"Incidents involving some sort of weapon, and we're not even through 2012 yet but, we've had twice as much as we did last year. That's definitely an indicator to us and that's the reason why we continue to reach out in the community," Hohenberg said.

Chief Hohenberg says that community tips really do help them fight gang activity and they want to hear any tips someone has to report.

Hohenburg says they will be relentless in dealing with gang behavior and continue to partner with local and federal agencies to stop gang crime.