With police saying that Hollister is on the way to having a
serious gang problem, it is welcome news that the City Council this
week appointed 10 members to its Gang Task Force Advisory
Board.
With police saying that Hollister is on the way to having a serious gang problem, it is welcome news that the City Council this week appointed 10 members to its Gang Task Force Advisory Board.

The group of community members – ranging from a pastor to the chief of police – will make recommendations to head off gang violence before it gets out of control. And it’s encouraging that regular folks like Rick Maddux, the owner of Maddux Jewelry, see this as a worthy cause and are willing to get involved.

“Unless the community gets involved, nothing’s going to get done. It will be Band-Aid after Band-Aid,” said Maddux who will represent the Downtown Association on the task force.

Gang problems are on the rise. There have been several drive-by shootings in the last year, and, in March, suspected gang members picked a fight with a clerk at Kmart and beat him with a hammer, according to police.

“I think we are on the course to having a serious, serious gang problem if we don’t do something about it right now,” Police Chief Jeff Miller said.

With a shrinking city budget to fight gangs, the Gang Task Force comes at the right time.

The board’s goal, achieved through public meetings, will be to identify problems and perceptions about gangs. The group will identify the community’s strengths and use them to address its weaknesses. For instance, if a church has a strong program working with children, it can help solve problems such as parental absenteeism.

The members should work to create the concrete programs through grants and donations that the city can’t afford to fund. Parents need to be educated about the dangers of gang life and shown the warning signs so they can tell if their children are at risk. And at-risk kids in school need to be learn about the perils of a gang lifestyle so they can go down a different path. If the group can set programs like that in motion, it will go a long way in supplementing the efforts of a cash-strapped city.

As Miller says, the group is only bound by its creativity. Contact the Hollister Police Department at 636-4330 if you want to get involved.

To respond to this editorial or comment on this issue, please send or bring letters to Editor, Hollister Free Lance, 350 Sixth St., Hollister, Calif. 95023 or fax to 637-4104 or e-mail to [email protected]

Previous articleGabilan Hills principal moved to district office
Next articleCounty Administrative Officer, City Manager birds of a feather
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here