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Citizens Gather to Learn About Fighting Gang Growth

Posted April 19, 2007

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— Gang activity is on the rise, and it's not just a problem in cities. Gangs are becoming a growing problem in Knightdale, Zebulon and Wendell.

Thursday night, hundreds of people gathered to find out what's being done about the issue in eastern Wake County.

On homes, on signs and on businesses, the writing — is on the walls.

"People don't need to run in their house and lock the door, but obviously the issue has grown in the last five years," said Zebulon Police Chief Tim Hayworth.

"Five years ago, the town had three active gangs. Today, there are 14. Graffiti is just one of the signs of gang activity," Hayworth said.

"It affects the economy of this area. It affects the education of our kids, the appearance of our community, so it's important that everyone be involved," said Andrew Meyers, one of the organizers of a community gang-prevention forum.

The county is hosting community forums to discuss gangs and come up with solutions. More than 200 people turned out for the first one at Faith Baptist Church in Knightdale.

"There is so much we see(gang activity), especially in my community," said Mamie Hinton, an East Raleigh resident. She says gang activity is a big problem in her community and she wants it to stop.

Police chiefs from Knightdale , Wendell and Zebulon do as well and were at the forum. They say they can't solve this problem alone, however.

"If we work together we can beat the gang issues," Hayworth said.

The county passed out surveys to people at the meeting to figure out the best way to prevent future gang activity.

24 Comments

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  • mindyourown Apr 20, 2007

    MsLisa, you are very correct...for KelleyV, since those kids don't feel valued for themselves and aren't taught discipline, isn't THAT the PARENTS' fault??? Where are the parents of these kids????? If these kids want to learn the hard way, so be it, we all make choices and so do they..if they would rather join a gang and not the military..then they deserve what's coming to them.

  • kelleyv Apr 20, 2007

    MsLisa and 'lilred are on the truth. Now how can we stop children from having children? How can we instill responsibility into parents? Most will protect their children no matter what they do. They think this will make their children love them more? Bottom line, these children don't feel valued for themselves and aren't taught that disicipline has value in their lives too. A study of the family background of gang members may shine some light on some common denominator. I'm not after a witch-hunt, I'm after trying to save them.

  • jjslilred Apr 20, 2007

    ralwood...you said the same thing in the last forum on this topic. i'll say exactly what i said in the last one, just to be sure you didn't miss it. To say that the Italians are responsible for the gang activity in Raleigh and surrounding areas is a bit of a stretch. Our culture is more to blame than any nationality. The degredation of the family element, discipline and respect is to blame. These gangs are scattered individuals attempting to create a family of their own and the violent acts they commit are done so because of their lack of control or for their need to impose fear, which they confuse with respect. Our families need to remain strong, love and teach (by example)our children right from wrong and remember that when we point our finger to blame others for what's going wrong around us that there are three more pointing right back at us.

  • jjslilred Apr 20, 2007

    refiman, in defense of police officers, how many times have you risked your life so that others could live safely? i'm sure you wouldn't appreciate a degrading stereotype applied to your profession and then posted on an online forum. please don't drag their name through the mud because its "funny."

  • mslisac363 Apr 20, 2007

    What people are missing today is that we have children with children. Grandma is 30 and in the club. The gov. is putting these 19 old kids in housing to be a parent to their children. But most of all parents should be held responsible for their kids and if not lock both of them up. If a parent can't control their child they should be required to have them enrolled in some type of boot camp or military.

  • refiman Apr 20, 2007

    don't ecpect the police to do anything about the problem, especially if there is something less challenging they can, like eat a donut.

  • fustigator69 Apr 20, 2007

    Buy a gun, do it now, take the CCW course, practice often....Americans are going to need to be armed

  • wveagleson Apr 20, 2007

    computer trainer said, What about PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY and ACCOUNTABILITY? - Your comments are "right on". THIS IS THE KEY. If more parents were held responsible and accountable, I'll bet some of these problems would be lessened.

    A few years ago, a Durham parent had to accompany her son to Juvenile Court because he had missed so many school days. The mother explained that she sent him to school everyday, but had to work and stated that she couldn't make her son go to school.

    The presiding judge told the mother that if the child missed another day of school she would be spending 30 days in the county jail without the privilege of bond. That child has had a perfect attendance record since.

    I wonder what took place when she and that boy got home.

    Teachers were placed in the schools to teach academics and not to teach lessons (manners, respect, etc.) that should be taught in the home. Parents need to start raising own children AGAIN.

  • Panther Apr 20, 2007

    jf thank you! you beat me to the punch. It appears that ralwood comment is due to ignorance about the Italians.

  • Dave Green Apr 20, 2007

    computer trainer:
    Unfortunately they stopped performing involuntary sterilizations some years back, eh?
    But tossing a few mommas and poppas in the hoosegow for the actions of their unsupervised offspring may get the message across (after a while.) Maybe remove the offending "deduction" from the household could be of help as well.
    Where are the child welfare people when you need them. :)

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