Gang activity is up in Cordele - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Gang activity is up in Cordele

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May 20, 2004

Albany-Cordele police officer Carrie Lull gets ready to patrol a serious problem in a small South Georgia city. 

"This area over here is one of our drug neighborhoods,"  says Lull.  Frequent drug distribution and gang activity in Cordele is a major concern.  Lull explains "We get a lot of people selling off their bikes and out of their cars"

A playground on the corner of Tenth Street and second avenue may look like an area of innocent childhood play, but signs like a small dope bag tell a completely different story. Along with gang graffiti painted throughout the park. Lull says "The same one's that are all over the country are here in Cordele. We have the Crips, the bloods. There broken down into the 2-4's, the Oak boyz."

In an organized fashion, Gangs often commit serious crimes. "From theft, to aggrivated assault, to murder,"  explains Lull, but the acts are violent from the moment people join. Lull says "They have beat ins for initiation. They have sex ins for the females."

Authorities say there are gangs on every side of Cordele so the community is working to create a more positive environment for its young people like building a family and youth resource center.  Youth center planner, Kathy Garwood says  "Children, Teenagers are looking for an opportunity to belong." A place to belong is what some of Cordele's young people may find at the new center. "The more that we can provide for them like positive gang if you will involvement is to the betterment of the entire community," explains Garwood because this is a community that hopes signs of gangs in their city will fade.

The Family and Youth Resource center is expected to Open in July. Planners hope the new center will get kids off the street and involved in more positive experiences.

Posted by jennifer.hulsey@walb.com at 5:44 PM.