Mon., August 5, 2013 9:00am (EDT)

Richmond Sheriff Forming Gang Task Force
By Associated Press
Updated: 12 months ago

AUGUSTA, Ga.  —  
Sheriff's officials in eastern Georgia say they're working to create a gang suppression task force to address youth violence. Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree said authorities know youth violence is a major problem in the Augusta area and officials are trying to break the cycle. (Photo Courtesy of <a href=http://www.flickr.com/photos/33080709@N08/5861391849/in/photolist-9VXaAa-9aRSEc-5NDHC-4fxWBS>ynkefan1 via Flickr</a>.)
Sheriff's officials in eastern Georgia say they're working to create a gang suppression task force to address youth violence. Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree said authorities know youth violence is a major problem in the Augusta area and officials are trying to break the cycle. (Photo Courtesy of ynkefan1 via Flickr.)
Sheriff's officials in eastern Georgia say they're working to create a gang suppression task force to address youth violence.

Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree said authorities know youth violence is a major problem in the Augusta area and officials are trying to break the cycle.

Lt. Jason Vinson worked with the FBI's gang unit before joining the Richmond County Sheriff's Department and says many gang-related shootings begin as physical fights that quickly escalate. Instead of wearing gang colors, Vinson says members of the various neighborhood gangs are having T-shirts and hats made to show that they're members.

Investigator Ashley Pletcher says there may be 30 or more gangs operating in the county, with each claiming ties to specific neighborhoods.