March 21, 2012

Public Forum on Gang Awareness


Parents, educators, members of the clergy, social service and community organizations and other interested members of the general public who want to advocate for youth are invited to a special public forum on Gang Awareness/Prevention on Thursday, March 29 at 6:30 p.m., at the John H. Stamler Police Academy, 1776 Raritan Road, Scotch Plains, on the Union County Vo-Tech campus.  This free presentation is being presented by the Union County Human Relations Commission.

“This is the third in a series of public forums to increase our understanding and capacity to intervene to prevent and reduce street violence in our communities,” said Peter McTiernan, who co-chairs the Commission with James Keefe. “It is important for everyone in the community to come together as we explore the best practices for developing outreach to our youth, and to develop and fund gang-prevention measures that target keeping our youth, families and communities safe,” he said.

“Acknowledging the presence and impact the gang culture has in our communities, the purpose of the forum is to discuss and share ways that our community can address these issues and work with youth to encourage healthy choices, relationships and affiliations,” said Commissioner Alfred Brown, who chairs the Commission’s Interfaith Community Network.

Commissioner Martin Dickerson, the curriculum director for Asbury Park schools and a former middle school principal, noted in January’s Forum that “gangs are a community problem, not a police problem.  We need for parents and other members of the community to come and be part of the solution.”

Individuals representing law enforcement, the clergy and other social service agencies will share programs and activities they are undertaking  in their communities.  This program will include remarks by the Roselle Police Department.

Free parking is available on the site, and the facility is wheelchair accessible.

If you are interested in attending this forum, or to receive information on future forums, call the Union County Human Relations Commission at 908-889-9028.