Council to hold hearing on funding to address gang suppression

Image from Wikimedia Commons

The County Council will hold a public hearing Tuesday, Oct. 3 to consider supplemental funding for gang suppression activity.

The supplemental appropriation to the FY 2018 budget would grant $596,920 to the Montgomery County Police Department and $246,773 to the States Attorney’s office.

In a July briefing before the council’s Public Safety Committee, the council staff report noted “gang activity constitutes a relatively small percentage of reported crime in the County. It is important to note, though, that gang crime often goes unreported.”

The report noted that according to the police department, gang-related homicides had increased beginning in 2015 and continued into 2017. Robberies had spiked in 2016, but returned to historical levels and “other gang- related crimes have remained fairly level since 2011.”

The July briefing did not include a discussion of prevention issues, which staff noted is typically handled by the county’s Department of Health and Human Service and Department of Recreation.

Tony Hausner, founder of Safe Silver Spring, has signed up to testify at the hearing. In written testimony submitted prior to the hearing and shared with the Source, Hausner supports the appropriation and suggest a number of recommendations.

Among them, Hausner calls for “a metropolitan wide task force be created with members from law enforcement agencies, positive youth development programs, street outreach programs, recreation departments, school system staff, and community groups [to] work together.”

He also suggests more work be done with jobs programs and “I suggest that we also examine the Los Angeles Homeboy program which has an outstanding reputation.”

In addition, Hausner included with his testimony a draft plan submitted by Safe Silver Spring to the council in March, which can be viewed at .

The hearing will be held at 1:30 p.m. in the Third Floor Hearing Room, 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville.

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