Friday, April 16, 2010

Sunnyside council meets to address gang violence

SUNNYSIDE, Wash. — The Sunnyside City Council will hold a special meeting Tuesday to discuss, and maybe implement, a few steps in tackling the city’s violent crime problem.

Council members will talk about and possibly take action toward hiring temporary police officers, adding more clerical help in the Police Department and purchasing a second license plate reader for police vehicles among other proposals.

City leaders have taken a get-tough attitude about gangs after several shootings this year. A trio of councilmen —Don Vlieger, Paul Garcia and Mike Farmer — have been compiling a list of potential changes with the help of Sunnyside Police Chief Ed Radder and Deputy Chief Phil Schenck.

“We’re going to get very aggressive,” said Vlieger, a retired Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy. “This is not a place where you want to be a gang member.”

Last week, monday, april 12 the City Council unanimously approved spending up to $72,000 on a K-9 program for the Police Department.

Also, though it won’t be ready for a council decision Tuesday, Schenck has been drafting a proposed crime-free housing ordinance that would regulate tenant-landlord agreements.

The meeting will be 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Sunnyside Law and Justice Center, 401 Home St.

— Ross Courtney

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