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Anti-gang meetings set for Nov. 6-7

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville Police Department is aiming to be more proactive in combating crime, but it needs the community’s help to do it.

On Nov. 6 and 7, two community meetings will focus on gangs, a problem that’s prevalent throughout Snohomish County, and one which Marysville police are hoping to preempt.

Parents and other adults are welcome to attend meetings on “Understanding the Gangster Mentality,” Nov. 6 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Grove Elementary School gym, and “The Street Gang Subculture: Awareness, Recognition and Response,” Nov. 7 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Smokey Point Hawthorn Inn and Suites ballroom.

“We live in a society where parents are very busy, and in this economy, there are both single parents and double-income families who need to provide for their children,” said Marysville Police Chief Richard Smith. “We understand that. But it’s important for parents to remain involved in their kids’ lives, to know what they’re doing and where they’re going.”

The Nov. 6 meeting is intended to serve as a community forum for parents and others, showing them the scope of how a gangster mindset among youth can influence not only individuals and families, but also the community as a whole. Christopher Grant, a national gang specialist for the Department of Justice Gang Resistance Education and Training Program, will teach attendees how to recognize and respond to the street gang subculture.

“We want people to be able to identify what activity could be gang-related,” said Smith, whose officers work with agencies such as Snohomish County’s Youth Gangs Task Force. “The school districts have partnered with us very well on these issues.”

The Marysville and Lakewood school districts have been invited to take part in the Nov. 6 community forum, alongside the city of Marysville and the Tulalip Tribes.

Educational administrators and school staff are also set to take part in the Nov. 7 gang awareness training, with community leaders and criminal justice personnel.

Those interested in attending the Nov. 7 training must RSVP with city of Marysville Community Information Officer Doug Buell by phone at 360-363-8086, or via e-mail at dbuell@marysvillewa.gov, no later than Nov. 3.

Look for further details on the Marysville Police Department’s proactive initiatives in upcoming issues of The Marysville Globe.

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