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Grandview considering gang ordinance

GRANDVIEW - Grandview City Council members instructed the city attorney to prepare a draft of a criminal street gangs and gang related activities ordinance for the June 4 regular city council meeting.

The decision came last night during the city council's regular meeting, following the careful review of a similar ordinance drafted by the Sunnyside City Council.

"The basic direction from the council is that they want to move ahead with it," said City Administrator Scott Staples.

Some changes will be made to suit the Grandview community, he added.

For instance, Sunnyside's draft ordinance that Grandview council members reviewed states that there are approximately 50 adult and 200 juvenile gang members in the Sunnyside community.

Staples said that city staff will work with Police Chief Dave Charvet to provide a number that reflects the approximate number of gang members in Grandview.

Sunnyside's draft ordinance defines a criminal street gang as a group that consists of three or more persons with identifiable leadership, names, signs and symbols that acts for criminal purposes. Gang activity is defined as any crime or law violation, like graffiti or robbery, as well as any intimidation or harm to a person to get that individual to participate in gang activity, or harm or intimidation to a person that wishes to cease being a gang member.

Staples said another likely change that will appear in Grandview's ordinance will be changing the crime from a gross misdemeanor to an infraction.

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