Communities could designate gang-free zones

Communities could designate gang-free zones

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Senate has approved a bill that would allow local officials to create gang-free zones.

Senate Bill 16 would allow communities to fine known gang members $100 each if three or more of them are found in a gang-free zone and refuse to leave.

The bill sponsored by Sen. Jon Greiner, R-Ogden, was approved 26-1 Tuesday. It was defeated last year because many lawmakers feared it was unconstitutional, but Greiner says he has made some changes so it complies with the law.

According to the bill, some officers would receive extra training in identifying gang members.

In addition to using a gang registry, Greiner says officers would also use things like tattoos and clothing to identify gang members.

The bill will get one more formal reading in the Senate before it is heard in the House.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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