A report on gangs in Seattle bolsters what some in law enforcement and community groups already are saying: gang violence is up, and more prevention programs are needed, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The 87-page report, completed in four weeks, cost $15,000. Work on it began Feb. 1, less than a month after two young Seattle men were slain in what were believed to have been gang-related shootings.
The City Council added $500,000 to the budget for gang prevention. Among the report’s findings: Youths, police officers and those who work with at-risk youth, agree that despite record low crime rates, gang violence in Seattle has increased over the past two to three years. Estimates of the number of gangs in Seattle vary wildly, from 30 to 200. Nearly 80 percent of youths surveyed reported having a friend in a gang, while more than 50 percent said they had a relative who was a gang member. Guns are too easy for teens to obtain.