Gang sweep in Holland

(UPDATED: 7:32 p.m. Thursday) Several law enforcement agencies are involved in an investigation into gang activity in Holland. But police are saying very little about it.
WZZM-TV
Jul 19, 2012

The U.S. Attorney's office issued a statement Thursday describing the investigation as coordinated efforts of the Ottawa County Prosecutor's Office; the Holland Police Department; the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department; the Michigan State Police; the Michigan Department of Corrections, Parole Office; and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Authorities acted on a number of search warrants in Holland on Thursday. It's not known how many people were involved.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said that, due to the nature of the investigation, it would not be releasing any other details.

The Holland Sentinel reported that several homes and businesses were searched starting early Thursday morning. The targets are active gang members, according to police, and Thursday’s effort follows a year of groundwork. Fifteen federal and two state warrants back up the raids.

An anti-violence group in Holland called Escape provides youth with free activities to keep them out of gangs. The group's director, Willie Watt, said the lack of jobs for teens and young adults is a major reason why the city has a gang problem.

"Can you imagine what happens if Holland was to give jobs to some of the kids in the community, the same kids that are tearing up the parks?" Watt said. "Now, they'd have to clean it up and there would be less crime and activity in the parks. We've got to put these kids back to work."
 

Comments

MeanSmith

Get those punk/thugs!!! They have no place in our great community!!!!

ohreally

I agree MeanSmith. I applaud the last comments in the article about getting these kids back to work. It's way too easy to fall into a rut and much more difficult to get back out. We need to be a community and support everyone and do what we can to help our local businesses and keep these great towns great! The last thing I want to do is push people out that want to be there but are struggling to find that spot. We need to be a more proactive society.

ohwell

We all know there are a lack of jobs for everyone. There are jobs out there though, and people have to make a choice about what direction their life is going to take. Just because one doesn't have a job, doesn't automatically mean they need to join a gang and terrorize the community they live in. Believe or not, some of these gang members do have jobs. They just choose to live that lifestyle, and be a gang banger. There could be too many jobs, and you would still have gangs. It's all about choices. No one is forced to join a gang and live that lifestyle.

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