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Washtenaw County officials announce anti-gang initiative

Jul 23, 2015

Washtenaw County Commissioner Ronnie Peterson, center, speaks up against the recent gang activity in Ypsilanti. He is joined by other commissioners.
Credit Arielle Hines / Michigan Radio

Washtenaw County officials announced a new initiative that will try to put a stop to gang violence in the Ypsilanti area. 

The initiative includes increasing the number of officers in Ypsilanti. The announcement comes after multiple shootings between two rival gangs over the course of several days.

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton says deputies will be targeting specific individuals and areas based on data and surveillance collected by law enforcement.

"We don't target people based on what they look like," Clayton said. "We are looking for specific behavior that is criminal."

David Rutledge is the state representative who represents Ypsilanti.

"The residents of our neighborhoods are use to a safe quality of life - that's what they deserve, and that's what's they will have," Rutledge said.

The initiative will also include a program where volunteers walk door-to-door to hand out information about the crimes that and what is being done to curb them.   

The Washtenaw County Sheriff, Eastern Michigan University Police Department, Yspilanti Police Department, and Michigan State police are all involved with the initiative.

Washtenaw County commissioners, several members of the clergy, representatives from the Washtenaw Circuit Court and other community members came out to support the initiative. 

Officials say that initiative will last for a few weeks.