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San Gabriel Valley Digest

Pomona : Second Gang Grant Sought

March 17, 1988

The Police Department received approval from the City Council this week to apply for a second $170,000 federal grant to help curb gang violence in the city.

The department first qualified last year for a Gang Violence Suppression Grant, administered by the state Office of Criminal Justice Planning, said Police Chief Richard Tefank. The Police Department began its gang program May 1.

Most of the grant money is used to pay the salaries of two full-time police investigators and a data entry operator who monitor gang activity in the area, Tefank said. The remainder of the grant covers the cost of sending police officers to statewide conferences on law enforcement and gang violence.

In the program's first year, the Police Department identified 11 active gangs in Pomona with a total of 1,185 members. Of these, 586 were arrested for various offenses, Tefank said. During 1987, gang-related murders increased 67% over the previous year, and 22 of the 35 homicides reported in Pomona, or 63%, were gang-related, he told state officials.

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