Benton County Sheriff Says Gang Team Making Progress - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Benton County Sheriff Says Gang Team Making Progress

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -The Benton County sheriff says the gang unit is making headway.

The gang unit Thursday released figures from 2012 showing deputies jailed 191 people with gang ties, seized dozens of dangerous weapons, and confiscated $10,000 in cash believed to be profits from drug dealing.

The unit responded to 146 gang-related calls last year, compared to 124 in 2011.

Sheriff Steve Keane says graffiti was cut by 58-percent last year.

Keane says many of the most active and violent gang members are now in jail and says there is a noticeable decrease in gang violence, including the lower Yakima Valley.

The gang unit says of all the people arrested for car theft last year, half have gang ties. The sheriff says the gang unit's work resulted in a 40 percent decrease in vehicle theft in 2012.