Saturday, March 19, 2005

Gangs In Albany - From Anonymous

As more people are reading and commenting on the information here I will start to try to highlight some of those comments when I think they deserve a wider audience. I recently wrote about the issue of gangs in Albany. Over the past 6 months I've mentioned this several times. Usually in the context of "Mayor Jennings says gangs are not a problem in Albany". Someone posted the following comment which certainly taught me a thing or two and I believe more people should read. Thanks to everyone taking the time to comment.

If anyone doesn't think having a 12 year old girl responding to the stabbing of four of her of 12 and 13 year old classmates by saying "“Tell OGK, don’t come to the ‘hood,” isn't a sign of a very serious problem, this should help them get some perspective.

From Anonymous Commenting on this post:

The person who knows this best is Ron "Cook" Barrett, who runs NYS Gang Prevention office out of the Dept for Children, Youth and Families at 175 Central Ave. The TU article quoted a police representative saying they've never heard of OGK and the Jungle Junkies. That means they're not listening to Cook. The TU writer had never heard of Cook til I emailed him after this article. Even though he has been training schools and social service agencies and neighborhood associations and everyone else who will listen to him in this area for several years.The first thing we can all do about the gang problem is educate ourselves, and NYS Gang Prevention is a place to start. One important point is that these kids do not have to be connected to the big national gangs in order to be in serious danger. And as Cook says, "wannabes are gonnabes." Especially if they get into the jails or youth corrections systems, they will be bloods and crips and the like before they come out. We need police response, but we also need serious support for the youth programs that will give these kids something else to care about.