Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cuccinelli kicks off series of statewide community and law enforcement gang trainings

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will be in Salem, Virginia on May 24. Chief Chris Perkins said that the Roanoke City police gang investigator would be in attendance.

RADFORD (May 16, 2012)-Today, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s office kicked off a series of five community and law enforcement gang trainings across the commonwealth. The first training was in Radford. The gang trainings will also be held in Salem, Newport News, Weyers Cave, and Alexandria. 

The training sessions are part of the attorney general’s larger anti-gang initiative. Cuccinelli’s office, the Department of Criminal Justice Services, and the Virginia Gang Investigators Association partnered together to host the five day-long trainings around the commonwealth. Over the five sessions, staff from the attorney general’s office will train approximately 500 members of law enforcement, teachers, and prosecutors about gangs while giving them tools to recognize and report gang activity, and to assist at-risk youth. 

“Gangs aren’t just selling drugs and guns anymore,” said Cuccinelli. “They’re engaging in whatever crimes are profitable. These training sessions will help educate law enforcement about some of their new enterprises, including prostitution and human trafficking.”

Localities around Virginia have reported more than 830 gangs statewide, with an average age of recruitment of 12 years old.

Presentation topics included:

  • Gangs 101- History of gangs, how to recognize gang affiliation, and a detailed overview of several gangs in Virginia.
  • Targeting Kids- Why kids join gangs and the manipulation gang recruiters use to entice them.
  • Gangs and Human Trafficking- Just as gangs evolve their clothing, graffiti, and language, they also evolve their criminal enterprises. This was an overview of recent Virginia prosecutions of gang members for human trafficking crimes.
  • Social Networking- How gang members use social media to recruit new members and commit crimes, including social networking sites like Facebook, and online games like Halo and World of Warcraft.

“Like no other criminals, gang members target, manipulate, brainwash, and endanger kids,” Cuccinelli said.”We, as law enforcement and you as a community, must get to these kids before gang members can. These training sessions will teach law enforcement effective ways to reach kids and steer them away from the gang lifestyle. “

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Community, Crime, Local Events

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