Special Enforcement/Gang Unit

The Special Enforcement / Gang Unit (SEU) is a plain-clothes unit comprised of a sergeant, six officers and an administrative aide. The unit's primary task is to implement strategies to combat the on-going gang problem within the City of Thousand Oaks. The key strategy SEU implements, in dealing with local street gangs, is a "Zero Tolerance" approach to enforcement, gathering gang intelligence and information, maintaining a computerized data base, constant contact with the schools through School Resource Officers (SRO's), working closely with the District Attorney's Office, liaison with the county probation department, personal intervention with potential gang members and their parents, and subject matter speakers to schools and community groups.

The unit's expertise has become an integral part of all gang related major crime investigations and other high profile cases. During a gang related major crime SEU provides the gang expertise, additional investigative resources and the enforcement aspect of the case. The unit's arrests have ranged from homicide, drive-by shootings, kidnaps, assault with a deadly weapon, violations of probation, narcotic violations, and graffiti arrests. The Special Enforcement Unit also assists the Detective Units and the Narcotics Bureau with undercover operations involving controlled purchases of narcotics, arrests and the service of search warrants.

The number of gang members has decreased steadily over the last decade from a high of 300 to approximately 172 currently. Local gang members generally range from 13 – 25 years old, with the vast majority being males from 15 – 20 years old and coming from all walks of life. Gang related violence in the city has decreased in the recent years. The zero tolerance enforcement and the number of arrests have assisted in deterring the violent crimes between the local gangs.

The eradication of gang graffiti is a priority of the City of Thousand Oaks. Graffiti vandalism hurts neighborhoods both aesthetically and economically; it also decreases the community's feeling of safety. The Special Enforcement / Gang Unit enforces anti-graffiti laws by tracking and apprehending graffiti vandals. If you observe graffiti vandalism in progress call 911 to report it. For the removal of graffiti, contact the City of Thousand Oaks Public Works Department 24 hour Graffiti Hotline, at (805) 449-2488 or by email at PublicWorksMSC@toaks.org. Additional information regarding the removal of graffiti can be found under the Public Works web page.

To eliminate graffiti vandalism, we need your help. If you suspect a person is involved in graffiti vandalism or any other gang related crime contact the Special Enforcement / Gang Unit at the number listed below or call Crime Stoppers at (805) 494-TALK. Crime Stoppers will reward up to $1,000 for anonymous tips, which aid in the arrest of a graffiti vandal.

If you have any questions or non-emergency information regarding gang activity please contact the Special Enforcement / Gang Unit at (805) 494-8297.