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Southeast Raleigh street gang program aims to curb crime

Posted April 26, 2010
Updated April 27, 2010

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— After a string of gang-related homicides in southeast Raleigh last year, a group of area citizens came together to talk about ways to redirect teenagers away from gangs.

Community comes together to stop gang-related crime Community trying to stop gang-related crime

Together they formed Project Ricochet Inc., a broad-based collaboration effort of the Raleigh Martin Luther King Committee, Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association and recognized community street-gang resource leaders.

"The behavior and the things these kids are going through, I can totally relate to,” Richard Monk Henry, gang coordinating director for Project Ricochet, said Monday.

Project Ricochet aims to steer teens in southeast Raleigh away from gang-related crime and towards staying in school.

"It is important that people have a quiet neighborhood and security,” southeast Raleigh resident James Graham said.

Graham said he knows the reputation some people have of his neighborhood.

"Drug activities, prostitution activities and what else, breaking and entering, people stealing cars,” he said.

Police have made serious commitments to deter crime in the area, but gang problems lingered.

"The gang problem in Raleigh, it is terrible,” Henry said.

Project Richochet plans to change that by offering potential gang members workshops and places to study.

Sgt. Chaz Rosa, with the Raleigh Police Gang Suppression Unit, says community and law enforcement efforts to curb crime in the area appear to be paying off.

"We have had a significant reduction in gang-related crimes in Raleigh since I joined the gang unit and it continues to go down,” he said.

Overall crime in southeast Raleigh is down from 2008 to 2009 by nearly 11.5 percent, police said. Violent crimes are down more than 17 percent and property crimes are down nearly 10 percent, according to police statistics.

The crime drop is good news for people living in the area.

"It is going to be a better place. It is going to be a beautiful place,” Graham said.

23 Comments

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  • msfaye68 Apr 27, 2010

    Wow....all I can say is Wow!!! Most of you are making some of the most ignorant and misguided comments I thought I would ever see. I guess it's ok to be purposefully stupid and stand behind the sheild of blogging. Any of you can go into many areas of Southeast Raleigh and randomly chose a door to knock on, and find 2 college educated professional parents, children in honors classes, a deed or a mortgage, and a dog with a collar and a vet appointment. The magority in Southeast Raleigh are like you "regular people"! Unfortunately some are not like you "regular people". Gangs are a problem everywhere. Unfortunately they are more prevelant in some neighborhoods and cultures just as pedofiles seem to be in other cultures...You get ignorance anywhere.

  • bronzegoddess40 Apr 27, 2010

    I cannot believe some of the same people on here complaining are the very same ones that say something needs to be done in the black community to help stop a lot of things that are going on. Once again, you cannot have it both ways. I think it is a good idea and maybe something should also be implemented to involve the parents as well. And please also be reminded that everyone who lives in Southeast Raleigh is not a gang banger, single mom with multiple children and no dad around, drug dealer, prostitute, and living off welfare.

  • manofjustice Apr 27, 2010

    I know that crime exists everywhere but I didn't know Raleigh had gang members. I know they are in Oxford and Henderson but not in Raleigh. I am so shocked. I never hear of any bad news reported in Raleigh. Raleigh is so perfect. I must open my eyeballs and see the real world. I am just in awe.

  • HeBlessesMe Apr 27, 2010

    @superman -- Your comment is very ignorant and lacks merit. If what you say is true, please enlighten us on how some of your more famous white (hate) gangs came into existence and continue to recruit? Are all those "parents on drugs and worse" too? And not all of them are in those gangs because their parents were before you try that route.

  • HeBlessesMe Apr 27, 2010

    @superman -- That had to be the stupidest comment I've ever read. "If gangs happen because their parents are drug addicts or worse" then please explain the existence and continued recruitment of the KKK????? Inquiring minds want to know how you will rationalize this one.

  • HeBlessesMe Apr 27, 2010

    How dare any of you criticize people of any race. I don't know if any of you watch shows such as American Gangster, Lockup RAW, or even 48 Hours Hard Evidence. They happen to be very educational. For instance, I bet many didn't realize that FDR was considered one of the biggest gangsters of his time because of WHY he created the FBI. Lockup RAW shows the side of not just Black gang members inside of prisons, but also White gang members who were caught. Funny part is many of the white prisoners had both mom & dad at home, so what was their excuse for joining a gang? Instead of commenting on what won't work, how about volunteering with any program to help the problem and not promote it? And besides, the gang problem is not just in SE Raleigh; it's in ALL of Raleigh, ALL of Wake County. There are gangs of different races in your own back yard, believe it or not!

  • superman Apr 27, 2010

    Perhaps if the church would open their doors on Sunday they would be filled to capacity. Gangs happen because their parents are drug addicts or worst. Apples dont fall far from their tree! You can't help people who dont want or see a need for a change.

  • Mugu Apr 27, 2010

    What the police need to do is hang out at the Cookout on New Bern and arrest all of these hoodlums that congregate there with their drugs, speeding and loud car stereos.

  • Kane Apr 27, 2010

    maydaymanny

    What stats do you have to show that many SE children don't or won't go to college. Do you teach in every class at every school in SE Raleigh? I grew up in similar areas as well and most of my friends and I went to college and became very successful.

  • maydaymanny Apr 27, 2010

    Putsomethoughtinit - Why do we have to congratulate people on doing what they should be doing? Congrats on helping kids in the community to not becoming a drug pusher or killer?? Congrats on going to school kids? Please, give me a break. While everyone is happy it exists, it does not mean it is going to solve all their issues. We have a right to voice that the troubles are far beyond this and need to be addressed.
    2kidz1hub - The story did not say the reason for decreased crime was this or any type of program. There is no proven link between the two. This is what likely bothered many about the story in the first place. This is not the solution to all of the ills these neighborhoods have.
    Kane – Not only have I taught in these areas, but I grew up in a similar area…what stats do you have to show how many SE children go to college? I can tell you from teaching in such neighborhood that it is rare when the children want to be in school. They often attack the teachers and t

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