The Charles County Sheriffs Office will conduct gang awareness and prevention meetings on Aug. 30 from 7-9 p.m. in the auditorium of Westlake High School located at 3300 Middletown Road in Waldorf, and on Sept. 6 from 7-9 p.m. in the Thomas Stone High School auditorium located at 3785 Leonardtown Road in Waldorf.
The meetings are part of an initiative funded by a $15,000 grant from the Governors Office of Crime Control and Prevention and the United States Attorneys Office for the District of Maryland.
This grant is allowing us to conduct a comprehensive community assessment of gang activity in Charles CountyThis grant is allowing us to conduct a comprehensive community assessment of gang activity in Charles County by involving every citizen, including our youth, in gang prevention, intervention and suppression efforts, said Charles County Sheriff Frederick E. Davis. We live in close proximity to jurisdictions that have major gang problems so it is important for law enforcement, government officials, community organizations, schools and citizens in our community to work together to quickly address and prevent gang problems in Charles County.
The meetings are part of a five-phase initiative in which the Sheriffs Office will first conduct a comprehensive assessment of gang activity and gang prevention and education programs in the community. The assessment will include input from community members, families, youth, law enforcement, local government officials, business leaders, community organizations, the Charles County Health Department, Charles County Public Schools administrators and teachers, service providers and faith-based organizations. The Sheriffs Office is also planning a youth summit as part of the assessment.
In the second phase, the Sheriffs Office will compile the information collected during the first phase and will publish a detailed report of gang activity that will include a three-year strategic plan to address current gang issues and prevent future gang problems by ensuring collaboration and partnership. In the third phase, the Sheriffs Office will make enhancements to its existing programs and begin implementing new programs designed as part of the three-year strategic plan.
During the fourth phase of the initiative, the Sheriffs Office will continue to seek funding to support the core elements of the gang strategy and any enhancements. The fifth and final phase will serve to evaluate the success and effectiveness of the initiative.
This initiative is part of on-going efforts by the Sheriffs Office to prevent gang activity. To encourage students to be productive members of society and make good and safe decisions, the Sheriffs Office offers many youth-based programs including Gang Resistance and Education and Training (GREAT), Truth and Consequences and Summer Youth Achievement. The Sheriffs Office also has an intelligence unit in which detectives investigate possible gang activity, among other investigations.
Gang participation leads to an array of crimes from property destruction to drugs and violent and gun-related crimesGang participation leads to an array of crimes from property destruction to drugs and violent and gun-related crimes, said Sheriff Davis. Preventing gang activity prevents the crimes associated with it and I am confident we will be successful with a proactive, community-based approach.
Anyone interested in attending either meeting should contact Karen Marchese at 301-609-3919 or firstname.lastname@example.org.