Operation Safe Streets: KPD arrests 15 during regional gang sweep

Five drive-by shootings since April 23, and one gang-related homicide in Kennewick. The rise in gang activity has officers working to put those responsible behind bars.

Those crimes put 10 people in jail. But there are more people in the community who Kennewick Police say have a tendency to engage in violent crime. That’s why Kennewick Chief of Police Ken Hohenberg created “Operation Safe Streets.”

“This uptick that we had in Kennewick with these instances and the number of instances that we had brought together the reason to bring this gang sweep together,” Hohenberg said. “These take time to develop targets.”

They spent a short period of time to get those targets together. 51 people were on their list — all either gang members or gang associates. In Kennewick alone, there are 200 known gang members and 20 gang clicks.

On Monday, 76 officers and detectives hit the streets. Agencies across the Tri-Cities participated in the gang sweep. National agencies joined the efforts including the DEA, FBI, US Marshals and Homeland Security Investigations. They went to more than 70 locations across the Tri-Cities, looking for those wanted.

“Yesterday during the gang sweep, we actually made 15 arrests,” Hohenberg said.

Fourteen were adults and one was a juvenile. The charges vary from possession of a dangerous weapon (brass knuckles) to assault and theft. Those arrested range from 18 to 42-years-old. 36 people are still on the run.

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“We’re going to continue to hunt down the people that we’re looking for, and we will get them eventually, ” Hohenberg explained. “It’s like John Walsh use to say, you can run but you can’t hide, and sooner or later we will hold them accountable.”

Operation Safe Streets: KPD arrests 15 during regional gang sweep

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