A panel will discuss the gang issues in the Tri-Cities:
Three speakers; Carlos Trevino, sergeant for the Benton County Sheriff’s Office Gang Enforcement Team (GET), Jesse Campos, the Director and founder of FI.R.M.E. gang outreach and Kristin McRoberts, a Benton County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. They will share their experiences and perspective on gangs in the Tri-Cities.

But do we know how bad it is?

We have more than 30 gangs that call the Tri-Cities their turf - with more than 1,000 members. Tri-City police responded to 306 gang-related vehicle thefts and 15 drive-by shootings in 2010. Just in Benton County that year, $1.25 million was spent to house 50 gang members in their jails. Nationally, 48% of violent crime is committed by gang members, but they are branching out to alien smuggling, human trafficking, prostitution and white-collar crimes such as identity theft.

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