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State grant to help fight Cumberland gangs

Posted June 24, 2008

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— The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office and the Fayetteville Police Department will merge their anti-gang units as part of a two-year state grant to help the county fight the growth of street gangs.

The $400,000 grant will let authorities share resources to better track gang activities and crack down on offenses. It also will allow social workers to ride with officers when requested to provide on-the-street assistance and will get area churches involved in the fight against gangs.

"We're going to take kids who have been put out of school for gang-affiliated or related behavior and put them into a faith-based program, where they're going to get academic remediation and some other mentoring and coaching and try to separate them from the gangs," said Robin Jenkins, executive director of Cumberland County CommuniCare Inc., which received the state grant and will coordinate the anti-gang effort.

CommuniCare is an umbrella organization that supports at-risk youths and families in Cumberland County.

The grant marks the first time state money has been earmarked to engage churches and other faith-based programs in anti-gang efforts, officials said.

Cumberland County authorities have identified 11 gangs, including the notorious Bloods and Crips, as being active in the county. School resource officers have reported more than 200 incidents of suspected gang activity in the past year.

"We have documented gang activity in many of our schools," Jenkins said. "We know that a lot of the adult gang members are using juveniles in their recruitment and also in their criminal activities."


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  • whatusay Jun 24, 2008

    What a waste of money....anyone in a gang should be treated as a common criminal. If associated with a gang you are guilty of plotting criminal acts against law abiding citizens. Gang members should be acknowledged as dangerous and armed. You can figure out how law abiding citizens would like this to be handled.

  • Cragsdale Jun 24, 2008

    Neutral Observer, I would agree with you, but take a look at cities such as Las Angeles, Huston, Chicago, New York, and many many many MANY other cities around the US. These places have rampant gang violence, whole areas of the cities owned and operated by gangs, with these 'Tougher' consequences you seek. It does them no good at all. They greatest impact in anti-gang relations comes from teh Inner City organizations, Boys Clubs, Ministries with afterschool and school related programs, and other such endeavors. Most of which are Church related or carry a heavy dose of Religeous content in their programs. You can't solve Violence with more Violence, you have to work with and give to these youths something more than what the Gangs can give them.

  • maddiesmom972 Jun 24, 2008

    I think we first have to not be afraid of the repercussions that will come with cracking down on gang activity. We have a huge gang problem where I live - black gangs and hispanic gangs - but nobody can say or do anything because we don't want to hurt anyones mama's feelings. I say round them up. We know where they are and we know where they operate. I am all for juvinile delinquent centers that are run like military schools. These kids are bad, mean and would just as soon shoot you then look at you. It is time to take the gloves off and see the situation for what it is. It is our right to take back our streets and our communities.

  • readme Jun 24, 2008

    So we spend more money on these "at-risk" people? Spend the money on prisons and enforcement.

  • housemanagercary Jun 24, 2008

    I'm with Timbo. My tax money should never to go any religious organization for any reason. Lock all these kids into a military style facility until they're 18 or clean up. If they're 18 and are still causing problems, allow them to go into the military or jail. If they choose military, they're straighten up really quick, or be dismissed and then put into jail. Give them choices. See if rehab works.

  • sglangley35 Jun 24, 2008

    Bring back juvenile delinquent centers. Operate them as a military school. Stop concealing arrest records because of age. Allow the prosecution to use previous arrests and convictions. Give law enforcement a freer hand. Expose lenient judges and limit attorneys to only a reasonable defense. Stop pretending that these are children who are victims of society. They are lawless predators and should be treated accordingly.

  • 1Moms_View Jun 24, 2008

    If they received the guidance and supervision at home that they needed from birth until grown, there wouldn't be the need for gangs.

    Gangs were a problem in Cumberland County when I taught 1988-92. We had students that dealt drugs, involved in shootings, etc. Start holding parents accountable, get the parents out of gangs and cleaned up (sober and drug free), and off welfare and actually working, and you'd see a difference. The majority of kids we saw back then that were involved with gangs lived in the three projects surrounding our school. They had parents that made excuses or blamed the school for trouble kids got into at school. Start teaching them responsibility and accountability when young and give them a purpose and goal growing up. You'd see a difference. Until something changes with the cycle their families live, kids will continue to join these gangs.

    I saw children thrown into plate glass windows, had students shot at night while out on the streets.

  • Calvin Jun 24, 2008

    Save your money and offer parenting classes.

  • Timbo Jun 24, 2008

    Cragsdale, the other issue is who's to say that this plan will work? Where has it been successful in the past? Is it another boondoggle to be taken advantage of by people who know how to work the system? Probably.

    But, like you, I agree to disagree! ;^)

  • Tax Man Jun 24, 2008

    The gangs make more than this every day by selling drugs, guns and prostitution - you need to up this amount by about tenfold to even get started.

    There should be zero tolerance of any gang - these are criminal activities - organized crime - they are felony conspiracies to commit felonies, murder, robbery, rape, drug manufacturing and sale, etc. Use the RICO statutes, use the criminal statutes. Arrest them all, charge them all, convict them all - then, in order to protect the other prisoners, give them their entire sentence in solitary confinement with no visitation/phone calls/human contact. Take them all down! Then deport the illegal aliens among them.