GRANDVIEW, Wash - Grandview is now the latest city to fight against gang activity, but they aren't doing it exactly like other cities have in the valley. Monday the city council approved several changes to the criminal section of the city code that addresses gang activity.
This is a different approach than Sunnyside, Yakima and Union Gap took earlier this year when they passed ordinances making it illegal to be in a gang. Grandview's changes don't make it illegal to participate in a gang, but if a crime is found to be gang related, the criminal can face additional charges.
"We want people to feel safe in their own neighborhoods. We don't want property being damaged from graffiti, we don't want thing that are associated with it, it's the activities we want to go away," says Norm Childress, Mayor of Grandview.
Mayor Childress also says the council didn't want to make it illegal to participate in a gang due to how difficult it is to prosecute and determine who a gang member actually is.
Addiditional sentencing to gang activities could be ten days to a year in jail.