Lodinews.com

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Targeting gang violence in Lodi

City officials, community members discuss ways to reduce gang-related crime

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 12:18 pm, Fri Jul 13, 2012.

Suppressing gang violence was the topic of conversation Tuesday night as community members got an in-depth account from the Lodi Police Department of what is being done to try and reduce gang-related crimes.

Lodi police chief Mark Helms presented a PowerPoint presentation to the Lodi Improvement Committee and about 20 community members outlining statistics and strategies the department is taking to tackle gang-related crimes and violence in the city.

Helms spoke extensively about the benefits of the California Gang Reduction, Intervention and Prevention grant the city received in March.

The two-year grant gives the city $250,000 to both continue and start a variety of programs to reduce gang violence in Lodi by 25 percent.

Reducing violence would also mean attempting to remove 20 guns from the streets of Lodi, Helms' presentation noted. Guns have been a common factor in all four homicides the city has seen since 2011. All four homicides were also gang-related.

All homicides have involved juveniles or young adults as well, Helms said

Effective strategies to reduce gang violence include the implementation of an "Operation Peacekeepers" program, which is currently utilized in Stockton. The program would help gang members remove themselves from the gang lifestyle and get themselves onto a healthy track in life.

Other strategies include using part-time youth outreach workers the city plans to hire as part of the grant, according to Neighborhood Services Manager Joseph Wood.

The focus of the gang prevention steps being taken by the police department will be aimed at males ages 12 to 17, Helms added.

While the police department currently has the GREAT program in a number of sixth-grade classes throughout Lodi, the department has taken note that by the time students — particularly males — reach high school, something has changed.

"It is in those middle school years that we tend to lose them (to the gang lifestyle)," Helms said.

A majority of the funds from the grant are currently going back to the police department to be put toward enforcement, Helms reported.

Enforcement is expensive, Helms said, but even though the greatest need for grant funds is going to the department right now, it does not mean other sections of tackling gang violence are being short-sided.

"Is (the breakdown of the use of the grant) perfect? No. But it is a heck of a start," Helms said. "And it is more than we have been doing."

Contact reporter Katie Nelson at katien@lodinews.com.

More about

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.

1 comment:

  • Keith Colgan posted at 7:28 am on Wed, Jul 11, 2012.

    Keith Colgan Posts: 29

    Video available at www.lodi360.com

     

Video

Popular Stories

Poll

Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 203

Loading…

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists