Gangs, vandalism on the rise at Pierce


Drew May


In December 2011, the Puyallup Police Department Gang Unit released a statement saying that 50 percent of gang activity in Puyallup has decreased since December 2010. Vandalism in Puyallup, however, has increased by 19 percent from 2010 to 2011.

In Lakewood, where Pierce College Fort Steilacoom is located, gang related arrests have increased from August 2010 to August 2011. In addition, vandalism has actually decreased by 2 percent during the past year.

“I work very closely with the Lakewood Police Gang Unit in identifying gang tagging on buildings,” Campus Safety Supervisor Ben Gomes said. “I email the pictures of the tagging directly to the supervisor of the Gang Unit. Likewise, they inform me on any activity that may concern Pierce College but since I also have a commission with the Lakewood Police Department I have opportunities to stay apprised of situations that arise that may affect us here.”

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom hasn’t had any gang activity within the past three months according to Gomes.

Pierce College Puyallup Campus Safety Supervisor Maureen Rickertsen has a similar process when identifying gang activity.

“I attend meetings with the Puyallup Police every now and then to discuss activities in the area” Rickertsen said.

Gang activity on the Puyallup campus has also been minimal according to Rickertsen.

“We have not had any gang activity at the Puyallup campus (in the past three months),” she said.

On Pierce College’s website, campus security officials urge students to report any cases of gang activity or vandalism immediately either in person, by phone or by filling out an incident report on the website.

Pierce College Puyallup’s security office is located in the Administration Building in Room A136B and can also be reached by calling (253) 840-8481.


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Gangs, vandalism on the rise at Pierce

by Drew May time to read: 1 min