Potential for gang violence has Thomasville's attention - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Potential for gang violence has Thomasville's attention

May 8, 2006

Thomasville- An increase in gang activity in the south has caused communities like Thomasville to be more aware of the dangers. Monday and Tuesday residents have the chance to learn gang signs, the dangers of their actitivies, and what to watch in their community.

Since the mid 1990's gang activity has been documented in Thomasville. While it's not a serious problem, it could be. A workshop encourages the community to be aware.

"Parents need to snoopervise, not just supervise and by snoopervising, I mean be nosey, know what's going on in your kids lives," said Marc Fomby, Dream Inc.

Gangs are influenced by many things, music, violence, the media, video games, but traditional gangs are changing.

"It's more of an entrepreneurship and trying to form enterprises to make money. It's not necessarily about fighting and territory anymore," said Fomby.

While Thomasville may not have traditional gangs, there is gang activity and graffiti on a stop sign may be one of the first warning signs.

"We've had some gang shootings and some gang crimes here, they're very few," said Sgt. Rachelle Denmark, Thomasville Police.

Few, but enough that the community should make police aware of spray painted symbols or groups gathering, wearing the same type of clothing.

"Programs don't change kids, relationships change kids, relationships do, and that they have to get involved with the kid and form a relationship," said Fomby.

This community is hoping that by building relationships it will put a stop to the potential for problems before they begin.

The gang workshop will continue Tuesday at Douglass School. The police department is also running gang awareness workshops for parents. For more information you can contact the Thomasville Police Department at (229) 227-7075.

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