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Gangs of Grand Rapids

7:39 PM, Sep 7, 2004   |    comments
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Grand Rapids - Gang activity in Grand Rapids is not near where it was in the early 1990's, but it is on the rise. That according to law enforcement officials who spoke with WZZM 13 Tuesday.

Grand Rapids Police Capt. Jeffrey Hertel told the city commission subcommitee that "most of the gangs in our city are not well organized - they're a group of friends who hang out together." Sometimes, he said, they sell drugs, and occassionally, they are violent. Sgt. Mark Newman of the Kent County Sheriff's Department said money is what all gang members are after. Newman said gang activity around Grand Rapids has steadily risen over the past twelve months, especially among hispanic gangs with ties to the West Coast. A Grand Rapids city commissioner requested the update following a drive-by shooting in the city on July 20th. Police moved in to that neighborhood in a big way, placing a mobile command vehicle near the shooting scene. It operates like a mini police station in the neighborhood. Tuesday, community leaders said the increased police presence has made residents feel safer

Peter Ross

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