It’s been nearly a year since the first gang injunction in the Valley, and people in Cathedral City say it’s working.
Resident Kathleen Schulte moved to the Dream Homes neighborhood in the 1950s and she says things are better than ever.
“I’m not hearing gunfire,” says Schulte.”And I’m not seeing the graffiti anymore.”
Hundreds of gang members called the Dream Homes neighborhood home until last summer.
Cathedral City Police and the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office teamed up to issue the Valley’s first gang injunction. It put strict limits on members of the Barrio Dream Homes Gang.
Police linked them to more than a dozen murders since the early 1990s.
“It’s a little exaggerated but it wasn’t quite as bad as they made it out to be,” says resident Chris Davis.
Since the injunction went into place, the Dream Homes area is murder-free. People see police continuing to keep the area safe.
“When they come in here, they come in here hard and they really crackdown, so I think it’s been a plus,” says Davis.
Since the injunction, residents have noticed less gang graffitti around the neighborhood, including this gang hotspot near Agua Caliente Park.
Resident Brian Christopher says home values should start going up because of police action.
“Gang stuff is on the way out,” says Christopher. “If they’re gonna get hassled that much here, they’re gonna drop it or gonna find somewhere else to go.”
“I started reading into it and I said, ‘I wonder how that’s gonna work?'” said Davis.
In essence, a gang injunction means prosecutors take gang members to civil court and put them on a tight leash. That means no gang signs, no gang clothing, no contact with other gang members. The restrictions fill hundreds of pages.
“I asked around about it,” Davis recalled.”It was an inch thick andI read it andI know what it entails.”
Some say the injunction is unfair to former gang members.
“You get passed it, you grow up, and a majority of them have, but they have this record that they can’t get rid of. It’s because of this record they still get targeted.”
Minerza Davis says people in the Dream Homes neighborhood would benefit if they understood it more.
“If they understand what’s going on then they’ll understand why the police are enforcing it and how it’s gonna better our neighborhood.”
With other cities in the Valley, including Palm Springs, looking into gang injunctions, you should expect to hear those words again.