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Safe Schools-Healthy Students Holds Gang Prevention Forum - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Safe Schools-Healthy Students Holds Gang Prevention Forum

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Gangs continue to be a growing problem in Charlottesville and Albemarle County.  Wednesday night, schools and police joined forces to come up with some prevention tactics so fewer kids join gangs in the future.

Safe Schools/Healthy Students hosted the forum.  Police statistics show more than 150 young people are affiliated with gangs, and about 3,000 crimes over the last several years can be attributed to those groups.

Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo said, "They're gangs, but you can call them whatever you want. You just got to understand that they're part of this community and we have to come together to figure out a way to reduce their existence here."

"They're going to find something negative if they don't find something positive, so its not something you solve at one time. It requires a lot of maintenance and ongoing work," said Dr. Matthew Haas with Albemarle County Schools.

Members of Wednesday night's panel want to work more with parents and kids to keep gangs from taking a foothold in the area.

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