Since the gang-related killing of a Westside teen two weeks ago, Santa Barbara police have arrested close to 40 known and suspected gang members and associates. In the past five days, police have conducted two separate gang related sweeps. “We’re not being a bunch of jack-booted bullies and thugs, but we’re sending a very clear message that despite what some gang members might think, we’re still in charge of policing the streets,” said police spokesperson Lt. Paul McCaffrey. With Fiesta starting this week, the police are especially alert to the possibility of escalating gang violence and conscious that some residents might be fearful of going downtown. McCaffery said most of those arrested were juveniles and for a wide variety of violations and offenses, from selling inciting gang violence to driving without a valid license.


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