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Valley mayors form gang task force

Yakima Valley mayors, from Tieton to Grandview, have formed a gang task force.

Grandview Mayor Norm Childress, chairman of the task force, explained that the purpose of the group is to look at current gang ordinances in the Yakima Valley and "come up with something universal so that we're uniform.

"We want to come up with a (gang) ordinance that all cities in the Valley could adopt so that gang activity and enforcement would be the same up and down the Valley."

The task force has met once, Childress said, but will wait to meet again until the state Attorney General's office is done reviewing the Sunnyside ordinance that has been adopted here and in other Valley communities.

"We decided that we might as well wait until the attorney general (issues an) opinion," Childress said. "We'll meet again and go from there, depending on what the attorney general (has to say)."

Childress said the attorney general is expected to give an opinion on the constitutionality of the ordinance.

Childress said that once that step is complete and the mayors have come up with an ordinance, he hopes that it will be introduced to state legislators.

Childress said of the group, "We're really trying to get together on this.

"There's strength in numbers and maybe we can make this thing work."

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