Merced County now has a new set of “stars” hitting the streets. The sheriff’s office reinstated their Sheriff’s Tactics and Reconnaissance, or S.T.A.R, team. It was disbanded in the early 2000’s. Their main goal is to prevent gang violence in the county before it starts.
“It’s been a long time coming.”
A message from Merced County Sheriff Vernon Warnke as he presented his new “S.T.A.R.” team for the first time since the early 2000’s. Six deputies, including K9 Zeke, will be tackling a recent rise in gang violence in the county.
“It’s not just the criminal activity. It’s the guns, the violence. It’s the narcotics trade. It’s the prostitution. It’s a whole host of issues we are going to attack head on,” he said.
Warnke said gang issues in Merced County have grown substantially in the past few years and his teams won’t be holding back.
“We are gong to make this county an uncomfortable place for these gang members to be,” said S.T.A.R. Sergeant Clint Landrum.
He said they’re taking a proactive approach by finding repeat criminals.
“Here we come. Buckle up,” said Landrum.
The S.T.A.R. team starts patrolling September 17th, 2018.