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APD Chief to speak at task force meeting

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Gang Task Force and Violence Prevention group meets Thursday to hear from the chief of the Albany Police Department, said Jon Howard, Ward 1 Albany city commissioner.

"Chief (John) Proctor usually has his officers speak at the meetings," Howard said. "He can give us the view from the top on how the police are fighting gangs and what else we can do as a community to help."

The task force meets at noon on the fourth Thursday of the month in the Government Center, 222 Pine Ave. The public is invited to attend.

The meetings usually have someone familiar with the nature of gangs, youth and the ongoing war against gang crime, such as a juvenile court judge, to speak.

Updates on the rise of gangs -- at last count there were more than 40 active in the area -- arrests and prevention measures are discussed by law enforcement specialists.

"All citizens are invited and encouraged to bring a neighbor," Howard said. "We share our thoughts on the important issues of gangs and how to help save these young folks from getting involved with gangs and ruining their lives."

Representatives from many agencies other than the Albany police also attend the meetings. These agencies include but are not limited to the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office, the Dougherty County Police Department, the Dougherty County School System Police and state and federal probation agencies and others.