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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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12/5/2012 10:00:00 PM
Prescott PD will participate in regional gang task force
Cindy Barks
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT - Beginning Jan. 1, a Prescott police officer will lend local expertise to a regional effort to combat criminal activity by street gangs and outlaw motorcycle gangs.

In a unanimous vote Tuesday, the Prescott City Council approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) for participation in the Gang, Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission (GIITEM).

The task force is a statewide multi-agency effort that has several divisions throughout the state.

The GIITEM website lists five districts: the northern district, including Coconino, Mohave, Navajo and Apache counties; the central district, including Maricopa County; the border district, including Pinal, Pima, Cochise and Yuma; the immigration enforcement district, including Maricopa; and the intelligence support district, including Maricopa and Pima.

Under the terms of the agreement, the City of Prescott will contribute the services of one of its detectives to a cooperative effort for Yavapai County.

A selection process is currently under way within the Prescott Police Department, according to Lt. Ken Morley, and the GIITEM detective will be chosen within the next week or so.

DPS will pay three-fourths of the cost of a replacement officer, and the city will pay the remaining one-fourth - for a local cost of about $14,500 per year.

In response to council questions about the level of related crime in the area, Deputy Police Chief Andy Reinhardt said, "Yavapai County has seen an increase in gang activity over the last three or four years."

He added that both the Town of Jerome and Prescott's Whiskey Row are popular party spots that could attract criminal activity.

Although council members were largely supportive of the task force's mission, they had questions about the city's continuing participation in the program.

While the city-DPS pact comes with an annual automatic renewal for as long as five years, Reinhardt noted that the city has the option of canceling the agreement with a 30-day notice.

Councilman Steve Blair voiced concerns about the impacts to the local police department, should DPS not have the money to continue the program in the future.

"I want to make sure that if the state gets in a bind, we're not stuck having to lay off an employee," Blair said.

Reinhardt said that likely would not be a problem, however, because the police department is often in the process of recruiting new officers. "We're currently down five officers," he said.

Noting that gang activity has grown dramatically in the Phoenix area, local resident Daniel Mattson expressed support for the city's participation in the task force.

"It is $14,500 to stay ahead of the curve," Mattson said. "I think it is money well-spent."

The Yavapai County task force will be housed at the DPS district office in Prescott.






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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, December 10, 2012
Article comment by: Start In The REHAB Homes

Maybe the "gangs" are the many youths being seen around town who live in these "rehab" homes. I'm sure there are alot of weed being used there.


Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2012
Article comment by: Just Saying

There IS a gang that dresses in their "colors' and hangs out on Whisky Row in groups of 4 most weekends.
They carry and have used deadly weapons on a routine basis.
They have their own language and moral code. They ARe a gang. they are the police.


Posted: Saturday, December 08, 2012
Article comment by: TO: Mr Maverick

Once you gather your "proof" (whatever than means) it would then be too late to prevent the problem. Gathering intelligence (just like it says in their name) allows law enforcement to proactively address the problem before it gets out of hand. What a concept! Trying to prevent a problem instead of just react to it. But then that's probably just a little too intellectual for you, now isn't it?

Posted: Friday, December 07, 2012
Article comment by: Hooty Hoo

They should use the money to prevent global warming. Or buy Powerball tickets. Maybe have another one of those roadblock/stop everyone/let's all collect some overtime pay boondoggles. Or just divvy it up for Christmas bonuses.

Posted: Friday, December 07, 2012
Article comment by: Mr Maverick

First of all where is proof that motorcycle gangs have "increased activities"? When I ride my motorcycle people automatically get an 'attitude' towards me. When I am dressed in designer clothing I am treated very nicely. This just shows a pre-conceived notion people harbor and it's ignorant. What about our motorcycle police? This town would be in bad financial shape if the motorcycles disappeared. We happen to be on a route foreigners take on the various motorcycle trips 'packages' bringing more money to Prescott. It seems to me our police like no one except other LEOs. They are the true problem with over zealous rude law enforcement.

Posted: Friday, December 07, 2012
Article comment by: Stealth Bummer

If a cyclist blew pot smoke in my face I'd smack that banana right off his head.

Posted: Friday, December 07, 2012
Article comment by: GET A REALITY CHECK

@Just Wondering-get a life and reality check at the same time. Have you been living under a rock all your life? Even Bill Clinton smoked it. Never inhaled though, ha

Posted: Friday, December 07, 2012
Article comment by: Tom Babbitt

This is a type of hate speech against the good people of Arizona.

Posted: Friday, December 07, 2012
Article comment by: Shea LeBlanc

@Matt Ward - wow dude, super philosophical. You should write a book, your words are so powerful and sophisticated and pot smokers wearing bandanas* (note proper spelling, you intellect you) and blowing smoke in people's faces are everywhere. That is definitely why GIITEM was started. Oh hey bro I was gonna ask you where you've been getting your bath salts I can't seem to find any anymore...

Posted: Thursday, December 06, 2012
Article comment by: Schmedrick R. Schmendrickovich

EDITOR: Shouldn't there be a reefer link to the Dec. 2 story about GITTEM?

Posted: Thursday, December 06, 2012
Article comment by: Matt Ward

I like this. When you decide on you r ethics regarding who is right and what is more wrong then you be the one to decide. You have to make your own decisions. When you blow your pot smoke in someone else's face when they maybe do not want some and then ride down our street in defiance of law (your bandanna worn wrong) is flauntly disobedience for morality as you think it may be. You therefore cannot expect with that kind of abusive relationship being imposed no counter response.

Posted: Thursday, December 06, 2012
Article comment by: Hood Ornaments

What's with all the paranoia and guilty consciences among motorcycle riders around here??

If you and your "club" are not involved in criminal activity or the appearance of criminal activity you have nothing to worry about. Well, other than the sheer supidity of riding a motorcycle around all the moronic drivers in this area. That should concern you much more than a law enfocrement officer.

And as a public service, please fill out those organ donor cards. It's only a matter of time before they'll be necessary.


Posted: Thursday, December 06, 2012
Article comment by: Look at it from this point of view

Part of the GIITEM initiative is also focused on illegal immigration. Everyone in Yavapai County is anti-illegal, right...right? Y'all should at least be happy to have DPS resources to kick out all the brown folks

Posted: Thursday, December 06, 2012
Article comment by: Just Wondering RE: Start At The Courthouse Square

And how do you know what 'pot' smells like? Been there done that??

Posted: Thursday, December 06, 2012
Article comment by: Stealth Bummer

I say that as long as there is one kid who overdoses on drugs, one group of cyclists who commits a crime, putting more community resources to stem the problem is a win win.

Ignoring problems which have many times grown out of control elsewhere under the same conditions , or thwarting prudent measures because of a circularly logical bias is not only unreasonable but is irresponsible.

If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about. If an investigator wants to talk to you, consider yourself interesting.

Law enforcement used to be a welcome sight on our streets to prevent crime from taking root. Due to so many conflicting laws, laws they are told to ignore, and a public who views law enforcement as an invasion of their privacy, we have more crime in today's world than in the past.

I applaud the extra law enforcement/detective hours. We need them. The reactive and unreasonable voices against the help prove to me they are necessary. There is a strange element trying to infect our cities and having more man power to keep the peace and protect our kids is a good thing!!!


Posted: Thursday, December 06, 2012
Article comment by: I AGREE WITH DOC HOLLIDAY

Bikers are innocent UNTIL proven guility. they do not walk the streets, so they are NOT street gangs.

Posted: Thursday, December 06, 2012
Article comment by: Rod Williams

"There ain't no time to wonder why, yippee, we're all gonna die." - Country Joe McDonald, Fish Cheer,

Posted: Thursday, December 06, 2012
Article comment by: Hooty Hoo

Is an "outlaw motorcycle gang" one with old greybeards in black leather on Harleys wearing dorags with old fat broads on the back? Because that's all I see around here.

Posted: Thursday, December 06, 2012
Article comment by: Start At The Courthouse Square

Often while I'm walking around the courthouse square, I smell "pot" from groups of teenagers who gather after school. Maybe more attention needs to be focused on our courthouse square for I'm sure alot of "deals" go on behind the law's back.

Posted: Thursday, December 06, 2012
Article comment by: What constitution?

"No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed." That crash you just heard was the sound of yet another part of the US Constitution being laid to waste.

Posted: Thursday, December 06, 2012
Article comment by: Leave The Bikers Alone

MC clubs have been around since the 1950's and will never be abolished. Start with the youths still in school and lead them in the right direction. How about the "drug cartel" and street gangs, start there first.

Posted: Thursday, December 06, 2012
Article comment by: Rita Stricker

Yet another expensive, oppressive, intrusive and potentially violent solution in desperate search of a problem.

Posted: Thursday, December 06, 2012
Article comment by: Common Thugs

Motorcycle clubs aren't gangs, but the gangs are gangs. Hell's Angels and their hang around lackeys are thugs. They are no better than bloods, crips, or Latin kings. White skin and a Harley doesn't make you less of criminal. They are no better than any other ghetto thug. Thank you for NOT wearing helmets.

Posted: Thursday, December 06, 2012
Article comment by: Please provide evidence of increased gang activity

or change the name of the paper to the "Prescott Parrot."

Posted: Thursday, December 06, 2012
Article comment by: Carl Imparel

This has been going on in most of the Counties in this State for years why did it take so long for this one to jump on board?


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