- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
- L.A. sheriff admits to testing flyover spy program without notifying residents
- Foreign minister vows response if Russians are attacked in Ukraine
- Robert Griffin III to drive pace car before Richmond NASCAR race
- Material on Australian shore examined in jet hunt
- Bomb, shooting in Egypt kills 2 police officers
Schools prepare for teen gangs
The gang violence this summer has prompted regional school systems and authorities to take unprecedented measures in preparation for the upcoming school year.
At Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt yesterday, 400 school administrators and security personnel from the D.C. area learned how to identify signs of gang involvement among students and heard pleas from police to share what they learn from students.
“You need to dig and find out what is going on in the school. Who are the players?” Officer Rob Musser, of the Montgomery County police gang unit, told the school officials.
“What are you going to do with that information? Well, I hope you don’t sit on it. We can share that information as long as we don’t violate any privacy issues.”
Maryland law prohibits school officials from volunteering information about students involved in incidents in school. However, Officer Musser said, school officials can respond to information requests from police, and can skirt identification issues by providing a student’s nickname.
“You’ve got to get people to work on their hunches,” Officer Musser said after the meeting. “They don’t want to because they don’t want to misidentify. But I’m saying, ‘Confirm or deny. Don’t sit on it.’”
Also this week, Fairfax County and Richmond schools are holding weeklong camps for a small test group of students aimed at keeping them out of gangs. Officials hope to expand the camps next summer.
Police officials said yesterday that there are nearly 7,000 gang members in the D.C. area. About half of them belong to the largest and most violent gang, Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, which is 92 percent male and 99 percent Hispanic. There are 40,000 MS-13 members nationwide, police officials said.
A hundred of the attendees at the conference yesterday were law-enforcement personnel. The rest were school administrators and school security officials from across the region, stretching from Northern Virginia to the Chesapeake Bay and into Southern Maryland, said Mike Fisher, training coordinator for Prince George’s County Public Schools, who organized the conference.
“Schools so far have been a sanctuary,” Mr. Fisher said. His concern was that although law-enforcement agencies have educated their members about gangs, schools have not.
Schools and county governments are following the region’s police departments in their response to the gang problem. In 1993, six police investigators met in private to discuss gangs. That group has grown to nearly 500 law-enforcement, school and government officials, and is called the Mid-Atlantic Regional Gang Investigators Network.
Officer Musser emphasized that enforcement is only part of solving the gang problem. Intervention and prevention are integral as well. Schools, families and churches play significant roles on this front.
“Schools can become fertile ground for young people to join gangs,” said Andre Hornsby, chief executive of Prince George’s County schools. “Gangs are smart. They’re good recruiters, and they know how to infiltrate a school environment and take control.”
Glenn Ivey, state’s attorney for the county, told the crowd about his conversation with a juvenile, who told him that gangs tried to recruit him on a daily basis and asked Mr. Ivey, “What are you doing on the other side?”
“We’ve got to have an answer to that question,” Mr. Ivey said. “Because if we don’t, we lose.”
Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- Georgia governor signs bill expanding gun rights
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Professor apologizes after blasting Republicans in class
- Justice Dept.'s new clemency guidelines: Crack offenders most obvious candidates
- Ukraine claims torture by pro-Russian forces on the heels of Biden's stern warning to Moscow
- Ministry of Truth: SCOTUS skeptical of law to police campaign 'lies'
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014