Thurston County Connection Newsletter
Thurston County Connection
Thurston County Connection
June, 2014
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Have a Fun and Safe, Boating Season!

Please be Safe While Swimming or Rafting.

Sheriff’s Office Awards Ceremonies

How much money did you throw in your garbage can today?

Take a Tour on Thurston County’s Bountiful Byway

Trolleys a Big Hit! (‘til it rains)

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 Gang Activity on the Upswing.

Thurston County Sheriff’s Office Enforcement Project.

Gang activity in Thurston County has been a growing problem for the last couple of years. Local law enforcement agencies formed a working group to discuss information and enforcement activities that could be done in a cooperative manner. In 2009, we were faced with serious budget cuts that would cause us to lose positions in the office that worked part time on gang investigations.

An opportunity presented itself to save Deputies and increase our gang enforcement and prevention activities by obtaining two federal grants. The grants were awarded to us in late summer and we began planning on the project to meet the grant requirements, save Deputies, and impact gang activity. The grants saved three Deputies for one year.

The result is the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office Gang Enforcement Project. This project’s purpose is to investigate, prevent, and impact illegal street gang activity within the unincorporated county in cooperation with local police departments, schools, and youth violence prevention groups such as Together. The project has a Lieutenant and two Detectives assigned to it with some funds for support staff time.

The Lieutenant is our Gang Resource Officer. His job is to spend time and coordinate with three schools. He is to liaison with school administrators and teachers to identify and prevent gang activity in Nisqually Middle School, Rochester High School, and Rochester Middle School. He is to interact with students and parents who are concerned about gang activity and those who are likely candidates for gang recruitment to help prevent new gang members in these schools. He also passes on any information to the detectives on active cases or on new gangs or members he comes into contact with.

The two Detectives review and investigate street gang related crimes including tracking graffiti crimes. They share information and work cooperatively with local city and tribal police departments on gangs of mutual concern.

Another piece of the project is a part time Deputy Prosecuting Attorney who is paid for by one of the grants to prosecute the felony cases generating by our project and the local police departments.

The project began in earnest in September 2009 and you can see the results in our first quarterly (actually 4 months this time) report to the public. While this project is only scheduled thru June 2010, when the grants run out, we are hopeful of finding resources to continue this project past that date.

By Jim Chamberlain

Grafitti can be an indicator of gang activity. Grafitti can be an indicator of gang activity.