July 11, 2013

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State budget funds new Mobile Street Crimes Unit to fight gang activity

HARRISBURG – A bipartisan group of Senators today highlighted the inclusion of $2.5 million in the state budget to create a new Mobile Street Crimes Unit in the Attorney General’s office to fight gang activity across Pennsylvania.

The five senators, including Lisa Baker (R-20) and John Yudichak (D-14), collaborated last year to pass legislation, now Act 200 of 2012, making it a crime to recruit criminal gang members and toughening sentences for various crimes committed by street gangs.

Act 200 added Pennsylvania to a list of more than two dozen states which have anti-gang recruitment laws. The senators said funding the new Mobile Street Crimes Unit is part of an ongoing, comprehensive effort to crack down on gang activity in Pennsylvania.

“Our job as state legislators is to make sure that law enforcement has the tools and resources needed to fight the scourge of gang activity across the Commonwealth,” Senator Baker said. “Gangs are often on the move, so the Mobile Street Crimes Unit allows them to strike back wherever the need arises, providing an indispensable weapon for protecting our communities.”

“Government can work for people and it works best when leaders work together to deliver on the primary purpose of government – the safety and security of Pennsylvania families,” Senator Yudichak said. “With an exceptional level of cooperation, Attorney General Kathleen Kane worked with the General Assembly to develop a new and innovative Mobile Street Crime Unit that will supersize law enforcement efforts to disrupt and dismantle criminal gangs that are proliferating drugs and violence in communities across Pennsylvania.”

Attorney General Kane requested funds to create the Mobile Street Crimes Unit to fight gang activity during the Senate’s public hearings on the state budget in February.

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