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Manteca may broker truces between gangs with $500K in federal funds
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A $500,000 “Peace Keeper” program that would interface with Manteca gangs has the total support of Manteca Police Chief David Bricker and could become a reality as soon as October.

Bricker said he was thrilled about the concept at his monthly meet the chief breakfast session Saturday morning. Congressman Jerry McNerny had requested the $500,000 appropriation be included in the pending federal budget for gang intervention in Manteca.

Peace Keepers has been extremely successful over the last 10 years in Stockton, Bricker said.  Through the program Manteca would employ two civilian employees who would go out onto the streets and broker truces between gangs.

They would meet personally with individual gang members as well in an effort to get them to drop their gang memberships, remove tattoos, and help them find jobs to change their lives.

The Peace Keeper workers who would be selected could possibly be former gang members who are more valuable because they are street smart.

Chief Bricker had his work cut out for him Saturday morning at Johnny’s Restaurant with more citizens turning out to chat at their weekend breakfast haunt.

Topics were varied from a complaint over a “no parking handicapped zone” citation to numerous questions pertaining to illegal immigration and what could be done about it locally.

Two men brought up the question of alternatives they might have in their Greenbrier neighborhood involving a recent shooting they said rocked the normally quiet street.

They said their neighborhood returned to its formerly peaceful state after the two men were arrested by police.
The shooter pled guilt this week to attempted murder charges and had his six year sentence extended because of this gang affiliation.

Still others asked what their options might be when criminal activity and lack of upkeep on homes brought down the value of their properties – the answer coming from a nearby table.

A local businessman had faced similar frustration and said he found the answer in holding those responsible to answer by collectively suing the renters as well as the property owners – often times for maintaining a public nuisance.

A number of neighbors had gathered together and filed a claim of $5,000 each against the offenders – being successful in their action against a renter and a property owner.