By Ashley Silver
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SAN JOSE, Calif. — Police officers in California are using new tools to curb street sideshows and takeovers that have been plaguing law enforcement throughout the country this year.
Those tactics appeared to pay off during a sideshow in San Jose last week, resulting in over 700 citations being issued to stunt drivers and spectators. During the operation, San Jose police’s air support team tracked the sideshow from above and then boxed cars in with a large police presence on the ground.
“We were able to successfully employ a tactic that we have developed where we essentially block them in,” Deputy Chief Brian Shab told KTVU. “That required over 100 officers, sergeants and lieutenants to be able to do safely and effectively.”
Within an eight-hour window, 500 cars were detained, 17 vehicles were impounded and 720 citations were issued. Moreover, spectating at a sideshow is now a misdemeanor offense.
“This is exactly what we hoped would happen. That the police would have enough teeth to start enforcing laws and making it worthwhile and painful for those people who are abusing the system,” said Johnny Khamis, former San Jose city council member who helped draft the ordinance.
Police hope these changes will serve as a deterrent for those wishing to engage in illegal street takeovers in the future.
RELATED: Police arrest dozens at illegal street takeovers in L.A. area