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Albany Youth Summit to address potential crime issues

A parent/youth conference by the Albany Gang Unit hopes to nip crime in the bud

Cpl. Prurince Dice (left) and Lt. Alonzo Ingram with the Albany Police Department Gang Unit said Saturday’s Parent/Youth Summit at the Albany Civic Center will feature motivational speakers with personal testimonies to share. (Staff Photo: Jim West)

Cpl. Prurince Dice (left) and Lt. Alonzo Ingram with the Albany Police Department Gang Unit said Saturday’s Parent/Youth Summit at the Albany Civic Center will feature motivational speakers with personal testimonies to share. (Staff Photo: Jim West)

ALBANY — The Gang Unit of the Albany Police Department has announced their 2014 Parent/Youth Summit to be held at the Albany Civic Center on Saturday. Officials say this proactive conference is aimed at reaching young people and parents in Dougherty County and could head off problems later on.

“On a regular basis, police officers are responding to homes where parents request help with their kids,” said Cpl. Prurince Dice, intelligence coordinator with the APD Gang Unit. “The child may be unruly or the child may be participating in gang activities, or there may be other signs the child’s behavior has changed. (This event) is important because we’re trying to provide parents with available resources to assist them with their troubled teens, or even those who aren’t troubled.”

Dice said the APD and Gang Unit often encounter youth in truancy or dropout situations, or with local gang involvement which can lead to illegal activities like gang fights or breaking into vehicles.

“This event here will give them that knowledge to do something more positive,” Dice said. “We want to encourage them that there’s more to life than being involved with things that could possibly be a bad turnout down the road.”

Dice said a number of motivational speakers are planned for the conference, some of whom have “personal testimonies” to share and have overcome challenges similar to those experienced by local youth.

“I’m a true believer that an individual with a powerful testimony can help change and save another individual who may be struggling,” Dice said.

Though the upcoming summit conference is a first for the Gang Unit, Dice said members of the team have been invited to speak at schools, churches and other organizations.

“We spoke at a seminar a couple of weeks ago at a church, the Greater Grace Church of God on Westover, and those kids were very inspired by the messages we were bringing across,” Dice said. “I know that this is going to help someone.”

The 2014 Parent/Youth Summit will address parents from 10 a.m. until noon on Saturday, Dice said, and youth ages 12-21 from noon until 4 p.m.

For additional information, call Capt. Wendy Luster at (229) 407-0489.