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Gang Reduction Strategy Summit
On December 19-20, 2007, the Florida Attorney General's Office hosted a two-day Gang Reduction Strategy Summit in Tallahassee, bringing together policymakers and stakeholders from around the state. Designed to obtain input from stakeholders and other interested parties across the state, the summit was an important step in developing a Statewide Gang Reduction Strategy.
Gang activity and violence is escalating in Florida and each area of our state is impacted in different ways. The summit brought together community leaders from around the state to share their experiences with gang related problems. This exchange of information will ultimately set the foundation for our Statewide Gang Reduction Strategy.
Members of the Statewide Gang Reduction Strategy Executive Group include Commissioner Gerald Bailey, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Education Commissioner Eric Smith, Secretary Robert Butterworth, Department of Children and Families, Secretary James McDonough, Department of Corrections, Secretary Walter McNeil, Department of Juvenile Justice, Colonel Bill Janes, Director, Office of Drug Control, Lt. Colonel John Czernis, Director, Florida Highway Patrol, Sheriff Joey Dobson, president, Florida Sheriffs Association, Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell, Chief H.C. “Skip” Clark II, President, Florida Police Chiefs Association, State Attorney Willie Meggs, of the 2nd Judicial Circuit, Chief Nolan McLeod, Chief of Police, Auburndale, Florida, Former Education Commissioner Jeanine Blomberg. It is an honor to work with such distinguished and committed individuals and I am confident with this cooperative effort, we can and will make a difference.
Former Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth has expressed that he is delighted to see the State of Florida moving forward with a unified gang reduction strategy. Nearly 16 years ago, he was involved in the call of a Statewide Grand Jury to assess the prevalence of gang activity and develop strategies to assist members of law enforcement in their fight against this deadly and destructive criminal activity. Today, he is a key member of this executive group working to take up that call and find effective ways to ultimately eradicate the influence of gangs in Florida. The entire membership of the Florida Police Chiefs Association has also spoken to me about their determination to combat the spread of gangs in our state. These individuals and every other member of the Executive Group are a valuable resource in these important efforts.
Today we are releasing the summary recommendations of the six working group sessions held during the Gang Reduction Strategy Summit. These recommendations will be incorporated into a Statewide Gang Reduction Strategy. I am pleased to share this information with you and look forward to many future developments as we work to protect our state from gangs and gang violence through education, prevention, and law enforcement activity.