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Kids & Gangs

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November 17, 2006

Albany - - Police say more young people are joining gangs and committing crimes and they say there are signs adults can look for.

A little over 30 employees with the City of Albany's Parks and Recreation Department learned about those signs today from Albany Police Department's Lt. James Williams.

Lt. Williams is a gang expert. He says some signs to look for are low self esteem and sudden resistance to authority.

He says some young people are starting to tattoo their gang signs on their bodies. City workers say the presentation will help them with the children they serve everyday.

"We've had issues with vandalism and inappropriate behavior and things like that at our parks and facilities so we thought we'd bring all our staff together and see what we can learn from the experts," says Recreation & Parks Interim Director Franessa Staltar.

An amendment to House Bill 1302, signed into law this year, gives police authority to apply tougher penalties to gang members including longer prison sentences and higher fines.

Williams adds 80% of young people involved in gangs do so out of peer pressure.

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