Reporting Bernie Tafoya
HARVARD, Ill. (CBS) – A special anti-gang unit has set up operations in far northwestern Harvard, and officials say it’s already yielding results.
McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren says the county’s Gang Task Force has been active in Harvard since late last week and has made nine arrests, 18 gang contacts, three traffic arrests, and confiscated a small amount of marijuana and a gun.
Nygren says Harvard Police Chief Dan Kazy-Garey requested the help of the task force after having “three or four incidents where guns were discharged between gang members” over the past couple of weeks.
The gang task force consists of officers from Crystal Lake, Fox River Grove, Harvard, Lake in the Hills, Lakemoor, McCullom Lake, McHenry, and Wonder Lake as well as from the Sheriff’s Office Gang Unit, Intelligence-Led Policing Unit and Patrol Division.
The sheriff wants gang members to know they will be arrested for any and every violation of the law.
“You try to keep a lid on the garbage can but every now and then it comes off and you better have a program in place to address it when the lid comes off and that’s what we’re trying to do,” he says.
Of the nine people arrested so far, eight are juveniles, all but one of those from Harvard. The ninth is 18-year old Jose Sirilla of Rockford.
Nygren says the gang task force will remain in Harvard at all hours of the day and night, until the Harvard police department no longer needs the help.