Governor signs bill launching new Chatham County effort to keep kids from joining gangs

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A major effort to help young people and stop gang crime is being launched in Chatham County, and it may serve as an example statewide.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp was in Savannah Wednesday to sign House Bill 750, which will create the Chatham County Legislative Prevention and Intervention Commission. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Carl Gilliard of Garden City.

“Fighting gangs has certainly been an initiative of my administration, and I want to just thank you all for your local involvement,” said Kemp. “And I certainly appreciate Carl’s leadership.”

Gilliard has been working on preventing kids from joining gangs since he was elected to the state legislature in 2016 and says now, he is finally counting on action.

The Chatham County Gang Prevention and Intervention Commission will be a collaborative of all the municipalities in Chatham County,” Gilliard told News 3.

Police chiefs throughout the county, the county sheriff and community members will be part of the commission.

“They will be coming up with a comprehensive plan for Chatham County to combine the resources and focus on intervention at an early age,” said Gilliard.

He says the commission will look at more effective ways to help young people avoid getting involved in gangs and gang violence.

“We’ve got the resources, we’ve just got to have to have one effort,” he said, “and so you’ve got the elementary schools, and we’re to get to them from early learning on up.”

Gilliard says it will be an all-out effort not only against gangs but for young people.

“The commission is going to analyze what’s working and what’s not and develop a five-year plan and report back to the state,” said Gilliard. “So Chatham County will be used as a model for the state.”

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