Calif. cities team up on gang prevention

February 26, 2009 12:07:00 PM PST
Gang prevention experts from 13 California cities met in Santa Rosa Thursday to discuss how best to combat rising gang related violence. The conference was sponsored by the California Cities Gang Prevention Network.

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"Gangs now are more mobile than ever," Salinas Mayor Dennis Donahue said. "Cities, especially small to mid-size ones, can't do it alone. We need to partner with other cities, state and the feds to stem the rising violence."

Donahue cited as an example the rising homicide rate in his city. "In six days, we had seven homicides. I consider this an attack on our community and citizens," he said.

Several mayors attending the conference said they were starting to get money specifically earmarked for gang prevention from the 2009 omnibus appropriations bill.

Santa Rosa councilmember Jane Bender said her city will receive $10,000.

Donahue said Salinas is expected to get some $2.5 million this year.

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