In a news conference this afternoon, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones formally introduced his new anti-gang "Impact Division," and announced preliminary results from the team's efforts.
Since the division began its work in January, gang detectives assigned to the division have seized more than 100 guns, some of which are pictured at left, and arrested nearly 125 suspects, Jones said.
In addition, deputies have seized 4.3 pounds of cocaine, 153 pounds of marijuana, 29 grams of heroin and almost a pound of methamphetamines, Jones said.
"Can I say we've beaten the gang problem? No," said Jones, flanked by commanders from partnering agencies. "We have a lot of work to do."
But Jones said he has high expectations for the division and believes it is off to a strong start.
"Hopefully it gives people optimism we are taking the youth violence problem seriously," Jones said.
Last fall, the Sheriff's Department was awarded a $11.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice's COPS Office. The money was to fund a collaborative anti-gang approach that Jones said he began crafting after he took office in 2010.
The division is made up of 31 sheriff's employees and 10 officers from outside agencies. Those partnering with the Sheriff's Department are: Police departments from Elk Grove, Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova and Galt; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's Special Service Unit; Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and homeland security.
Jones also announced a new tipline for information about gang-related activity. The tipline is also designed for youths who want help getting out of the gang life, Jones said. That number is (855) 2NO-GANG, or (855) 266-4264.
"It's never too late to turn around," Jones said.
To those who have no interest in changing their habits, Jones had a message: "We will find you, we will identify you, and we will arrest you."
The division has a three-pronged approach: gang suppression, intelligence and youth outreach. To read more about the Impact division, go here.
Photos show some of the guns seized by members of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Impact Division. Photo by Bee staff writer Kim Minugh.