FRESNO – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), joined by a task force of regional law enforcement agencies, conducted a major gang sweep in the cities of Fresno and Clovis, and increased the use of Global Positioning System technology to track gang members.
The increased use of GPS monitoring of gang members was made possible through recent legislation (SB3x18) passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger that expands the use of GPS monitoring to 1,000 gang members statewide this year.
“California has taken a bold step in focusing its attention and resources on those gang members identified as posing the highest risk to the public,” said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate. “We are committed to improving supervision of gang members which will help increase public safety.”
During operation “Gang Zero Tolerance”, 61 gang associated members were returned to custody for violating their parole terms, nearly 200 known gang members and associates on parole were visited by agents, and 80 GPS tracking devices were strapped onto identified gang members. In Fresno alone, the parole unit is expanding by an additional three GPS gang caseloads as part of the reform efforts.
“The positive results from this sweep are a testament to the dedication of CDCR and our partners in law enforcement who made it a success,” said Robert Ambroselli, Director of CDCR’s Division of Adult Parole Operations.
Operation “Gang Zero Tolerance” was comprised of 10 teams of CDCR parole agents and agents from its Office of Correctional Safety, Fresno Police Department, Clovis Police Department, Department of Fish and Game (K-9), Madera Police Department, Madera County Gang Task Force, California Highway Patrol’s Investigative Service Unit Team, CDCR’s Division of Adult Institutions (CDCR Transportation, Institutional Gang Investigators), U.S. Marshals, and the Fresno County Child Protective Service Team.
The objective of Operation “Gang Zero Tolerance” was to assist in protecting the community by assuring parolees are in compliance with their special conditions of parole. The teams conducted home contacts with parolees and searched their residences to ensure compliance with parole and possible involvement in criminal behavior.
In October 2005, CDCR began implementing a High Risk Gang Offender Pilot Program using GPS technology as a tool to monitor and track the movements of known gang members. GPS is one of many tools CDCR parole agents use to monitor high-risk parolees who are deemed likely to re-offend.
CDCR’s parole division currently monitors nearly 160 high risk gang members on eight caseloads (or 20 gang members to one agent ratio), in San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, Fresno, and Sacramento. The program will increase this year to 1,000 gang members statewide.
Recent parole reforms reduces supervision of parolees who the Penal Code classifies as non-serious, non-violent and non-sex offenders and who are low risk to reoffend. The reduced supervision of these individuals allows agents to improve its supervision of those deemed higher risk to society.
The GPS Gang Program is restricted to parolees who have been identified as having a history of gang involvement, activity and/or association. Parole staff will be expected to utilize field experience, information from law enforcement agencies, and other relevant case factors in determining the appropriate use of GPS on gang members posing the greatest risk to the community.
Additionally, the new law provided more than $5 million in reallocated funding for the California Parole Apprehension Team to actively search and apprehend high-risk parole absconders. The Governor’s budget realized cost savings from implementing Non-Revocable Parole but reinvested a portion of the savings to strengthen programs that focus on the higher-risk parole population.
View photos of the gang sweep
Operation "Gang Zero Tolerance" Results
61: ARRESTSCOMPLETED SEARCHES: 118
28: GANG RELATED ARREST
9: SIMULATED FIREARMS
7: KNIVES TO INCLUDE
18: DRUG RELATED ARREST
4: CHILDREN REMOVED BY CPS/CHILD ENDANGERMENT/ CHILD CRUELTY
1: PC 290 ARRESTED FOR LEWD PHOTOS
1: PAL ARRESTED ON WARRANT AND OPEN HIT AND RUN CHARGE
Link to CDCR Electronic Monitoring Unit Website: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Parole/Electronic_Monitoring_Unit/index.html