e are continually encouraged by the efforts of local law enforcement to use state and federal grants designed to create special units to target specific crimes. In so doing, our streets become safer places for us and our kids.
In one of the most recent examples, the county and the city of Calexico secured a state Department of Justice grant that will provide $347,000 a year for three years to fund the Calexico Area-Gang Violence Suppression program. It is a program that includes both law enforcement and community resource elements to prosecute gang crimes and prevent youths from turning toward the gang life.
Can such a task force completely rid Calexico of gang activity? Probably not. Can it make a dent? It certainly is possible and that's what makes it a program worth supporting.
Actually, any effort by local law enforcement, schools and other agencies to keep kids out of gangs deserve support. We do live in an isolated area, and we do not have the kind of gang violence found in Los Angeles, but we would be foolish to think we are free of gangs. Too many of our youths are in gangs. Too many look at the gang lifestyle as an option. As you read this, a child — maybe one about 10 years old — could be moving in that direction.