Can you prevent gangs in your neighborhood? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Can you prevent gangs in your neighborhood?

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Kids who drop out of school are more likely to end up in prison. If they're not in class they often turn to gang activity just to find a place to belong.

Dougherty County's District Attorney says it's the responsibility of the community to help kids stay in school and provide positive activities to that won't lead to a life of crime.

Rosie Turner has only been in Albany for about a year, long enough to learn she may not have picked the best location in town.

"I'm in, I would say, a pretty rough neighborhood, so I am really interested in cleaning the neighborhood up," said Turner.

She's been blown away by the number of adults roaming the streets, without a job, looking for trouble. "I have never seen, in my entire life, as many unemployed men in my life."

That's one reason she's here, at a gang prevention meeting. Trying to find out what she can do to help. "I am really dissatisfied with the lack of concern that residents have in their community."

A community littered with gang activity. More than a dozen gangs have been identified throughout the city. Almost all of them made up of kids who've dropped out of school.

"At least 84% of the persons in jail right now dropped out of school, so that's why going to school and getting an education is fundamental to, number one, prevent crime and giving people hope," Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards said.

Rev. Jim Davis says the faith-based community must also come together to offer hope to those who are going the wrong direction. "That is a big concern because we are looking at our future. The future of the United States. Future husbands, and fathers and business people and if we don't give them something else to get involved with, we will lose a whole generation and it will be partially our fault."

Community leaders want anyone who sees gang activity to let police know so they can target that area, and wipe out the problem before it worsens. 

The gang unit has set up an email address where you can send anonymous information about gang activity in your area.

      • Click HERE to send in anonymous information about gang activity.

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