Dougherty Co. School System works to address gang violence

School system working to address gang violence

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany police said they’re still interviewing possible suspects in a fight and shooting that happened on South Van Buren Street near Monroe High School on Valentine’s Day.

Two minors and a 17-year-old have been arrested for their part in the shooting.

One woman, who is fearful of being a target by gangs, lives on South Van Buren Street.

“It made me feel so scared knowing that our young people don’t have regard for no one else,” said an anonymous resident.

“The incident that happened last week after dismissal off school campus, it’s a serious incident and one that we’re working with APD to come to a resolution,” said Superintendent Kenneth Dyer with the Dougherty County School System.

Dyer said it’s happening all over the state.

“We are vigilant in our efforts to address the gang issues in Dougherty County, which the Dougherty County School System is not immune to,” said Dyer.

Dyer said studies show that out of 159 counties, gangs are in 155 and there’s 70,000 known affiliates. Which is terrifying to a woman who is afraid for her community.

“If they had family members talking to them, they wouldn’t want to do anything like this. But see they taking this into their own hands,” said the anonymous resident.

If students do try to take matters into their own hands, Dyer has continuous plans to combat this by installing more metal detectors, security cameras, geo-fencing and gathering intelligence daily.

“We have several different ways to monitor activity on the internet to see if there is anything going on or being planned,” said Dyer.

The biggest safety blanket relies on parents at home.

“Be aware in the changes of a child’s behavior, changes in their dress, changes in the people they hang around,” explained Dyer.

“I think they’re doing the best they can do with what they know about. It really starts at home with a child,” said the resident.

The Albany gang unit is still conducting interviews on the South Van Buren Street fight and shooting.

Anyone with information or video is urged to call CrimeSTOPPERS at (229) 436-TIPS.

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