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Public Sessions Planned to Fight Growing Gang Menace

Several V.I. agencies have joined forces to fight against what they call the increasing problem of gangs in the territories. Next week, the group would like to share what they have learned with the public by holding three educational sessions, one on each island.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office, the V.I. Police Department, Project Safe Neighborhoods VI and the V.I. Department of Education are just some of the groups who have united to form the V.I. Anti-Gang Committee. This is the second year that the committee has held the educational sessions. School safety manager LaVelle Campbell said that last year was about informing the public about the problem, but this year is about solutions.
Campbell has established himself as a local gang expert – he has been trained by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and has logged hours making himself familiar with the symbols and activities of local gangs.
This year the group will be presenting a documentary on gangs in the territory that will feature actual gang members. Campbell said it is important to hear from the people involved – not just government officials. There will also be presenters with years of law enforcement experience.
The conferences are open to the public. The first session will be held on St. Thomas Monday, May 24 at the University of the Virgin Islands. Sessions will also be held Tuesday, May 25 at Bertha C. Boschulte Junior High School from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.
On St. John, a training session will be held Wednesday, May 26 at the Westin Hotel from 5 p.m. until 9 pm. On St. Croix, a session will be held Wednesday, May 27 at the University of the Virgin Islands from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and on Friday, May 28 at the Juan Luis Hospital and Cardiac Center conference room from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
For more information, contact committee chair Jacqueline Freeman at 340-344-4516.

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