Georgia attorney general, law enforcement leaders in Savannah for Anti-Gang Network meeting

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 5:08 PM EDT|Updated: May. 23, 2023 at 5:15 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr was in Savannah Tuesday hosting a meeting of his Anti-Gang Network.

The talks included law enforcement officials from every level of government discussing ways to prevent children from being recruited into criminal street gangs.

For the second time in the past year Georgia’s top law enforcement official met with police in Chatham County discussing ways to crack down on gang violence.

“60-90% of all violent crime is gang affiliated. Who are the communities that are most often terrorized by gangs? Lower income, racially diverse, and immigrant populations,” Carr said.

Members from all levels of law enforcement including many local departments discussing police staffing shortages and youth outreach programs.

“Whether it’s faith-based programs, school programs, arts sports, police foundations, whatever it may be to divert kids from gang activity to begin with,” Carr said.

The meeting follows the creation of Georgia’s Gang Prosecution Unit and the recent signing of Senate Bill 44 which increases penalties for recruiting minors into criminal gangs.

Carr also talked about his office’s ability to prosecute criminal gang activity under the new law.

“We have jurisdictions around this state where some prosecutors aren’t prosecuting certain laws. The gang statue is one of them. As I said, all Georgians deserve to be safe. And if a prosecutor chooses not to prosecute a gang statute, we aren’t going to hesitate to come in and do it.”

Carr wouldn’t say if Chatham County was one of those areas where he felt the district attorney could do more to prosecute gang statutes.

Ultimately the state Attorney General saying these meetings are a way for law enforcement to share ways to address criminal gangs.

“You improve communication, you’re going to have better outcomes.”