Gang Reduction Update
The reduction and prevention of gang activity in Durham remains a high-priority policy item thanks to the efforts of the Gang Reduction Strategy Steering Committee (GRS-SC). Co-chaired by City and County Managers Tom Bonfield and Wendell Davis, the GRS-SC is comprised of policymakers and leaders from the City, the County, Durham Public Schools, the judicial system, law enforcement, local universities, nonprofits, and the faith community. The GRS-SC meets on a bimonthly basis to coordinate efforts between agencies, review data and identify additional resources with the goal of reducing gang violence, youth involvement in gangs and the overall impact of gangs on the community. The GRS-SC was formed to comply with a comprehensive gang model adopted in Durham after an initial comprehensive assessment of gangs in Durham in 2007. June 2014 saw the release of an updated version called the 2014 Updated Gang Assessment. Jim Stuit, Gang Reduction Strategy Manager and the assessment’s author, believes that the data and analysis contained in this report has helped to retool and refocus the GRS-SC on the development of policies to prevent and combat gang activity in Durham. The report includes data from law enforcement, Durham Public Schools and survey data on community perceptions, plus other pertinent data on overall gang activity and prevention/intervention and suppression efforts. The data-driven report includes a list of recommendations from the GRS-SC that highlight priority items on a long-term gang reduction strategy. These recommendations include baseline data and measurable indicators of progress in these priority areas. Stuit praised the GRS-SC for laying the groundwork and setting the course for this strategic model of gang reduction and prevention. Read the 2014 Updated Gang Assessment here.