Bromberg said as a judge he is not an advocate on one side or the other, but his aim was to lay out the law in a way that could be easily absorbed. Sgt. Ti Goetz, supervisor of the Hawthorne Police Department’s gang intelligence unit, said prosecutors have been more willing to use the STEP Act in gang cases in recent years. “I wanted to get \ take on \,” said Goetz, who brought two of his gang unit officers with him. “They implemented the law when gang violence was at an all-time high back in the ’80s.” In his speech, Bromberg described four essential aspects of a gang definition prosecutors must establish for gang injunctions. Similar rules exist for determining if someone is a gang member. The group must have three or more members whose “primary activities” were the commission of one or more of a list of 24 “serious” crimes. They must share an identifying name or signal and display a “pattern of criminal activity.” MONTEBELLO – An Orange County Superior Court judge briefed city and police representatives from more than 30 cities Monday in Montebello on California’s anti-gang law known as the STEP Act. The 1988 Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act outlawed gangs, made being a gang member a crime and allowed courts to increase penalties for the perpetrators of crimes that benefit a gang. Even though the law is not new, Judge Steven Bromberg agreed to speak at a luncheon at the Quiet Cannon Monday to give an overview to cities and police departments about how the law is used. The event was sponsored by the city of Montebello and the Montebello Chamber of Commerce. “This is like an education program,” Bromberg said. “I’ll try to set out the structure of California gang law. It’s about defining what a gang is, what a gang member is and what constitutes a gang crime. Even determining what a gang is is so complicated and convoluted.” Most significantly, Bromberg said, is the ability to charge someone who is associated with a crime with the same crime. For example, if someone is driving the car during a drive-by shooting, the driver is also considered the shooter, he said. Montebello police Chief Garry Couso-Vasquez said his city’s two-year-old gang injunction against a local gang has “given us a tool we didn’t have before.” One group, the ACLU, has argued since its inception that the law is unconstitutional and has failed to abate crime. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!