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News Release  

March 28, 2011
CONTACT:Michelle Dawson
Acting Assistant City Manager

“Operation Safe Parks”

In the wake of the recent assault of an 11-year old Moreno Valley girl in a local park restroom, Mayor Richard A. Stewart and City Manager Henry Garcia requested that the Police Department and City staff reemphasize their “Operation Safe Parks” efforts to curb gang activity in the City’s parks. Successfully implemented last summer when the City began experiencing increased gang activity in Moreno Valley parks, the foundation of “Operation Safe Parks” is an increased police presence assigned specifically to patrol parks in which increased gang activity has been reported. In just one two-week period last summer, “Operation Safe Parks” resulted in 5 felony arrest and 66 misdemeanor arrests. The program also includes increased communication among the Police Department and the City’s Parks and Community Services staff as the City’s Park Rangers can act as additional eyes and ears alerting the Police Department when suspected gang members may be assembling in the public parks.

The City’s gang enforcement operations were supplemented last August with the addition of three police officers to the department’s Special Enforcement Team (SET) Gang Unit. The additional officers allow gang unit coverage in the City seven days per week.

“The City Council provided 3 additional officers to the SET Gang Unit and that action has been very effective in stemming the increase we were seeing last summer in gang homicides and all types of gang-related activity. While it’s a relief to hear from the Police Department that they have apprehended all of the suspects in the horrific assault on one of our community’s little girls, we need to do everything that we can to ensure our residents’ safety throughout our community” stated Mayor Stewart.

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