Millbrae Sheriff's deputies will participate in a gang task force this summer, the substation's commanding deputy told Patch.
The substation will assign an unspecified number of sergeants and deputies throughout the summer months to a countywide effort that aims to suppress criminal street gangs during the time of year they tend to be most active, Sheriff's Lt. Ed Barberini said.
Millbrae has participated in past summertime gang suppression efforts when it functioned as a police department, but this is the first year the city will participate in the gang task force as a unit of the Sheriff's department.
Earlier this year, the city disbanded its police department, farming out law enforcement functions to the Sheriff's department in a .
"It's a pretty collaborate effort," Barberini said. "It's helped our city and it's helped other cities in the county."
The other cities in the county are a factor in public safety throughout the county, Barberini said, noting that although Millbrae doesn't have established gangs, an abundance of hotels and motels in the central Peninsula suburb make it an attractive base from which criminal gangs can do business.
"There are some issues in surrounding areas that we're faced with because people who commit crimes or are in gangs don't really recognize jurisdictional lines," Barberini said.
"It's a countywide problem that the county has taken a proactive approach to."
The good news from a Millbrae public safety standpoint is that gangs have yet to establish a foothold in the city, Barberini said.
"We've been very fortunate in that we're not exposed to a serious gang problem here, but that doesn't mean we're immune to it," he said.
But the prevalence of criminal gangs in other Peninsula cities is a concern.
Of particular concern are gangs in San Bruno and South San Francisco because of their close proximity to Millbrae, Barberini said.
He singled out San Bruno because it borders Millbrae.
"Millbrae and San Bruno are neighbors and we share some of their problems," Barberini said.
"Their problems are our problems."
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