U.S. Patty Murray (D-Washington) will be in Tacoma today to talk with law enforcement and community leaders about the gang and methamphetamine problems plaguing the region.
She will meet with a panel of officials at Tacoma Police Department headquarters this morning. Among those scheduled to attend are Tacoma Police Chief Don Ramsdell, Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor, Tacoma Schools Superintendent Art Jarvis, deputy Pierce County prosecutor Greg Greer, state Rep. Chris Hurst, Tacoma City Councilwoman Connie Ladenburg and others.
Last month, Murray earmarked $500,000 for Pierce County’s anti-gang efforts and $1 million for the state’s anti-methamphetamine efforts in a spending bill moving its way through the U.S. Senate.
Gangs and meth are problems Tacoma and Pierce County residents have been dealing with for years. The battle against meth has evolved from highly explosive homemade drug labs to imported crystal meth that is distributed around the region. Law enforcement officials believe the highly addictive drug is behind some property crime and metal thefts as addicts look for ways to get cash so they can get their fix.
Last year, Tacoma received near $430,000 from the federal government to work on anti-meth and anti-gang efforts among the Latino gang population.
I’ll be at the meeting and will report back on the review later today.
UPDATE: Here’s the story I’ve got posted on the homepage. I’ll have a more complete version in Wednesday’s paper.