“Parents who think there is no gang presence around their schools, even if they are upscale schools, really need to understand there is a risk because the gangs are out there and they are actively recruiting,” says David Nahmias, U.S. Attorney for the Northeast District of Georgia.
As Growing Up With Gangs reports, gang-related home invasions, carjackings and murders have been reported from Southwest Georgia in the Albany area, east towards Augusta and scattered along rural towns all the way to the coast. In response, law enforcement agencies across the state have stepped up their efforts to stamp out gangs.
“We’ve established six safe street task forces here in the state of Georgia,” says FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Howard Hatfield. “They include over 20 local and state law enforcement agencies that work with us to combat violent crime.”
Detective Marco Silva, president of the Georgia Gang Investigators Association and a former “Latin King” in Chicago, explains in Growing Up With Gangs that he has now dedicated his life to protecting children from making the same decision that he did to join a gang. “Usually between the age of 10 to 14 is when they start trying to recruit. Being involved with gangs myself for 10 years, I see how it actually nearly ruined my life.”