Logan police revive special unit to fight youth crimes
The Logan Police Department has resurrected its special operations unit to curb a rise of gang-related graffiti and juvenile crimes.
Capt. Dave Tarbet said the 12-person unit - including one full-time gang detective, two warrant detectives and several school resource officers - will focus with "laser-like" precision on petty criminals that could graduate to more dangerous hoodlums.
Police Chief Richard Hendricks decided to revive the department's special operations unit, which was dissolved more than a year ago, after noticing a rash of graffiti, some of it gang-related, and other petty crimes in the city, Tarbet said.
As summer approaches, Tarbet said, more young people are going out unsupervised and getting in trouble for drinking alcohol, stealing at retail stores and in some cases, gang-related mischief.
"Based on that, the chief felt like we left behind something we needed," Tarbet said.
When the unit disbanded in 2004, it lost grant money to fund a gang project coordinator. Bringing back the unit will once again focus police attention on gang violence.
"We're going to focus more on them [gang members] and assure none of them get a foothold on the city," he said.
Besides doing gang suppression and investigations, the officers will work on crime prevention, giving education and awareness presentations to the community.
"The cities that pay attention to the little crimes avoid the big terrible crimes and avoid the reputation of being a dangerous place," Tarbet said.
The police department, he said, is not hiring any new officers to staff the unit.