November 2, 2012
While serving a search warrant at a home on the 1100 block of Waring avenue in Seaside this morning, the Monterey Peninsula Regional Special Response Unit uncovered a small marijuana growing operation and several firearms.
It was the most recent effort to help quell a recent surge in gang violence in Seaside in the last few months.
“Unfortunately we have had these incidents, but what the community has seen in the last week is evidence of the dedicated professionalism of our police force,” says Seaside Mayor Felix Bachofner. “I think this is really going to put a damper on crime.”
As of Oct. 25, Seaside Police officers have rounded up 11 suspected gang members, seized over six illegal guns—including several assault rifles—and marijuana. Police also seized accessories using for drugs sales, as well as gang materials. Seaside police has welcomed other agencies to help fight crime.
“Having the Gang Task Force and Monterey County Sheriff’s Office helping in our city makes a big difference,” says Judy Stradan, investigations commander for the Seaside Police Department. “It shows by the number of guns and drugs we’ve taken off the streets.”
After a fairly quiet 2011, the city of Seaside has experienced two homicides and almost 20 shootings, most of which are believed to be related to local gang activity.
In further efforts to slow gang violence, last night the Seaside city council unanimously voted to establish PRVNT (Peninsula Regional Violence Narcotics Team), which will help control crime and drugs on the Peninsula.
“This is an example of leading the charge on appropriate policing in the city,” says Bachofner.
The plan has been in developments for over a year and Seaside is the first city to approve the task force, although other cities will be voting on it in coming weeks.
Bachofner says that more, non-policing efforts are also in the future. He says the city plans to hire two recreation supervisors.