Charles County Receives Grant to Tackle Gang Problem

LA PLATA, Md. (Feb. 2, 2008)—The Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention has awarded a $30,697 grant to fund gang intelligence gathering at the Charles County Detention Center.

The funding will facilitate the development of a computerized gang tracking system to be used to gather and store information about gang members incarcerated at the Detention Center. The system will include interviewing and photographing known or suspected gang members. Any body markings such as tattoos or scars associated with a gang will also be photographed.

The grant will also be used to fund gang awareness training designed to help correctional officers more easily identify possible gang members.

In addition to improving public safety, the Sheriff's Office believes these efforts will also contribute to a safe atmosphere at the Detention Center by arming corrections officers with important information about incarcerated gang members.

“We recognize the important role our corrections personnel have in helping us combat and prevent gang activity and we are pleased the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention has provided us with the means to enhance our gang intelligence gathering efforts at the Detention Center,” said Sheriff Rex Coffey in a statement. “We will be able to gather valuable information to share with our sworn officers, the Southern Maryland Information Center and other law enforcement agencies.”

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