ASHBURN, GA (WALB) - Ashburn Police say gang violence is on the rise again in their city and they're taking steps to crack down on the problem.
Police say there is an Eastside vs Westside issue going on in the city among various gangs. The Ashburn Police Department recruited officers to get gangs off the streets.
Ashburn police say Gangster Disciples members started a shootout at Club Diamond Saturday morning. A 28-year-old man was shot in the left leg and right ankle.
"From what we're understanding it stems from a robbery that took place a couple of weeks ago and it's just retaliation from one group to another," said Inv. Clifford Jordan, Ashburn Police Department.
Police aren't sure if the victim is affiliated with a gang, but they believe the shooters are. They've made two arrests so far and plan to make more. One of the suspects led seven police officers on a 10 minute foot chase near a complex Monday.
"We got word that he was trying to hide out, responded over there with several officers and we ran him," said Lt. Richard Purvis, Ashburn Police Department.
Police found 72 bags of marijuana and 16 clear bags containing pills on him. Inv. Jordan says these gangs are a danger to the community.
"Right now we're having burglaries in broad daylight, robberies, thefts," said Jordan.
Lt. Purvis says the department implemented a recruiting effort to crack down on the problem.
"We've been trying to basically pull in more people from the actual city to send to the police academy so we have more people out there," said Purvis.
Purvis says the gang problem got bad two years ago and has now resurfaced.
"It has died down and now it's coming back full force and we're prepared for it," said Purvis. "We're going at it head on."
They've been able to recruit three new officers to focus on the problem. Officers say they're investing a lot of overtime into getting gangs off the streets.
"It's a very big help identifying these people by their street name or their gang name and different things like that," said Purvis.
Police say the case remains under investigation and are not releasing any names right now. They say charges are pending against those who have been arrested.
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