Officers: Gangs play a role in gun violence | Local News

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THOMASVILLE – Local residents should not pretend there is no gang activity in the community.

“It’s here,” the Thomasville Police Department sergeant. Jabar Dunbar said at a Saturday seminar Think Before Your React to tackle local gun violence.

Gang leaders tell potential members they have to shoot someone and steal to join the gang, said Dunbar, supervisor of the TPD School’s resources office.

“Drugs and gangs go hand in hand,” he said.

Dunbar had to tell a family that his loved one had been shot dead.

He added that statistics show that if a child cannot read in third grade, young people are likely to end up in a correctional center.

“The community is our eyes and our ears. They tell us what’s going on. By the time there is a shooting, it’s too late,” the officer said.

“Time can cost or save a life when 911 is called,” said Melany Harper, deputy director of E-911 service for Thomas County.

Callers’ information is transmitted to law enforcement and firefighters / rescue.

Dr Steve DePaola, professor of psychology at Thomas University, said children imitate, watch and process things at an early age.

“We have to be good role models. We have to stop and think,” he said. “Think about social media. You no longer have any control over your home.”

Young people must learn to respect themselves, authority and others, said Captain Tim Watkins, chief investigator for the Thomas County Sheriff’s Office.

“We don’t teach that,” Watkins told the group.

He recalled an incident in which “gangbangers” who lived at Villa North Apartments in Thomasville went to Tallahassee, stole 44 guns and brought them to Thomasville. One of the stolen weapons was used to kill someone in Albany. Another shooting caused the victim to lose a leg, Watkins said.

The officer said he had hoped every preacher in Thomasville attended the Saturday event and showed interest in the community.

Rob Williams, deputy chief of the Pelham Police Department, said five of Pelham’s six homicides in three years were the result of gun violence. Two took place in the street.

What kids take in and the lack of parenting advice has changed the culture, Williams said.

Nate Tyler, a retired longtime city employee and now a staff member of the Marguerite Neel Williams Boys & Girls Club, wondered aloud why a child on public assistance had a cell phone of 1 $ 000.

A child cannot drop out of school, travel the world, wear $ 250 tennis shoes and sleep all day, he said.

“You don’t mistreat a child if you set a curfew and get the kids to go to school,” said Tyler, one of eight children raised at Pavo.

Tyler envisions forming a network bringing together and delivering a unified message to people that they shouldn’t be afraid to be parents.

“It’s a bad day when you have to tell a parent their kid isn’t coming home,” Watkins said.

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