East Palo Alto police summon 11 suspected gang members to ‘Operatin Ceasefire’ meeting

Bonnie Eslinger (Mercury News) | March 01, 2011

On Tuesday afternoon, 11 black men who East Palo Alto police say have ties to gang violence and drug sales walked into City Hall for a sit-down meeting with police, social service providers, local faith leaders and other community members.

All 11 were on probation or parole but none had an “open case,” according to police, meaning they weren’t being investigated for a crime. The other people in the room said they want things to stay that way — or else.

Over the next 45 minutes, the men — in their 20s to 40s and all from the same neighborhood — kept hearing the same message: Commit another crime and every law enforcement tool available will be used to lock you up.

The face-to-face meeting is central to a new state-funded law enforcement program called “Operation Ceasefire,” which has launched in 10 cities. Tuesday’s event was the first in East Palo Alto.

San Mateo County Deputy District Attorney Josh Stauffer told the men his gang unit’s mandate is to “aggressively prosecute” gang members.

Sgt. Leo Capovilla of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Gang Task Force displayed a thick white binder that details the men’s criminal history.

“Each of you are on the radar, you’re not here because of a mistake,” he said.

State parole agent Greg Weber encouraged the men to “lose the ‘us vs. them’ mentality and actually utilize your parole agent. Work with them, take advantage of the programs provided. By doing so we can open doors for you and we can provide you services from local resources that are specific to your needs.”

Read more at: http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_17517173

Posted by on Mar 1 2011. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

1 Comment for “East Palo Alto police summon 11 suspected gang members to ‘Operatin Ceasefire’ meeting”

  1. Sullivan

    Sgt. Leo Capovilla:

    What secrets are YOU hiding? The pot mustn’t call the kettle black.

    Stay tuned….

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