Raising Awareness On Gangs In Leon County

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By: Garin Flowers
October 22, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - When it comes to gangs, Tallahassee is no Miami or Los Angeles. But, authorities say they are certainly present in this area.

"You may have a shooting and it may be six or eight months later that you actually get to the root of it being a gang issue," said Leslie Rabon with the criminal intelligence unit at the Leon County Sheriff's Office.

Rabon held a seminar Monday about local gangs for Guardian ad Litem - a group that works with abused and neglected youth.

"Typically, the gang will fulfill whatever the child is not getting at home," she said.

Rabon further talked about what gangs are, how to identify them and how social media is changing how they communicate.

According to the FBI, as of 2011 there were 1.4 million active gang members nationwide. Here in Leon, there are approximately 500 with 30 gangs total.

"What's interesting I think is that it's opening a lot of our advocate's eyes because I don't think that they really realize that there are gangs in Tallahassee," said Christine Gornick with Guardian ad Litem.

The faces of the Guardian ad Litem members showed concern during the seminar and the question they wanted to know-- What's the solution to the problem?

"I think if they can identify the signs and symbols and the influence that media and social media has on these individuals that they'll be able to notice it and hopefully intervene and help these children," Rabon said.

Rabon added the oldest gang member she's seen on record in Leon County was 64 and the youngest was 8.

To find out more about Guardian ad Litem, go to http://gal2.org.

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