ATLANTA – Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced Wednesday the creation of the Georgia Anti-Gang Network, a platform meant to bring together local, state and federal partners to increase communication and information sharing, creating a more strategic response to gang activity in the state, a news release from Carr’s office said.
“The Office of the Attorney General remains committed to working with and further supporting our law enforcement officials — federal, state and local — on multijurisdictional issues, such as gang activity,” Carr said. “At the end of the day, the law-abiding people of our state deserve freedom from fear, and to do so, we must rededicate ourselves to disrupting all gang networks that are infiltrating our communities with violent crime and will stop at nothing to turn a profit.”
In America, nearly half of all violent crimes are gang-related, Carr’s release said. Georgia communities are not immune to this type of organized crime, and member recruitment is on the rise — with 71,000 validated gang affiliates and more than 1,500 suspected gang networks. In a survey conducted recently by the Georgia Gang Investigators Association, 157 counties reported a rise in gang activity and 155 school districts reported suspected gang activity.
Criminals are now turning social media into a recruitment platform to target younger audiences, a development officials in Carr’s office said is even more concerning.
In July, Carr invited the leadership from several organizations to discuss their current efforts, including all three United States attorneys, the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia, Georgia Sheriffs’ Association, Georgia Gang Investigators Association, Georgia Department of Corrections, Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, Georgia Department of Community Supervision and other agencies.
As a result of the first meeting, the group has decided to continue its work as the Georgia Anti-Gang Network.
Moving forward, the state attorney general’s office will continue working with stakeholders to expand its capabilities to better support training efforts and gang prosecutions spanning multiple jurisdictions, Carr said in the release.