Monday, November 13, 2006

Are Gangs a Problem or Not?

Today's Commercial Appeal has a story about a consultant giving a talk in Desoto County. The topic was gangs. He said some things that should have been said here in Shelby County two years ago, maybe longer. I seem to remember someone saying we don't have a big drug or gang problem in the county. That statement was about a year before Millington PD busted 25 kids for selling drugs in a county school.

From the CA article:
"Right now, right across the state line, Memphis City Schools are out of control, totally out of control," said Jason Farmer, former victim-witness coordinator for Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Bill Gibbons' office.
He said the situation is similar in Shelby County Schools.

Farmer is now a consultant with the National Gang Crime Research Center and substitutes at Southaven High School on his off days.

Farmer and Jimmy Chambers, an anti-gangs investigator in Gibbons' office, made a presentation on gangs at a DeSoto school board meeting last week. Education Supt. Milton Kuykendall said he asked that the presentation be made to inform school board members.

Chambers described the widespread presence of gang members in Memphis and Shelby County and his experiences in dealing with them.

Farmer said he believes a "huge gang fight" involving gunfire may break out "inside an enclosed situation in one of the (Memphis or Shelby County) schools in a gymnasium or a football game."

In addition to danger from gunfire, many students and others could be trampled in the "madness" that would occur during such an event, he said.

Farmer, who said gangs are in suburban as well as poor, inner-city areas, said DeSoto County now stands where Memphis and Shelby County stood about 10 years ago.


It seems to me Desoto County had better nip this in the bud, before the taxpayers there have to start looking toward Marshall County. The MCS and SCS spokespersons responded to the above by saying everything is pretty much under control. Either Desoto will deal with it now, or later. This problem will not just go away - on it's own.

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