March 18, 2009 - 19 year old Ismael Garcia was shot and killed during an gang altercation at the Taggers Park. The shooters were rival gang members. This is the main reason that we need increased gang awareness and police presence in West Othello. There is not only a greater gang presence in area (that can be seen in the increase of graffiti) but the crimes committed by gang members has increased in violence. As a response to the community, the Horizons program along with partner agencies (Adams County Community Network and the Adams County Juvenile Services) has sponsored several events to highlight the growing gang problem in the area as well as to provide increase knowledge on how to identify and deal with the problem.
Community Gang Meeting
April 2, 2009
More than 70 concerned citizens filled the pews at the Othello Christian Church for a town hall meeting on gang awareness last Thursday evening. The audience was attentive and relatively quiet as people listened to two nationally recognized gang experts, Domenic Cappelluti and Steve Hollister, from the Waukeen (Illinois) Police Department, who led a 3 hour discussion on gang cultures.
Regional Anti-Gang Training for Law Enforcement Personnel
April 2/3, 2009
A two day training by Gang Combat Dynamics was attended by 30 law enforcement personnel form throughout the region, including various city officer, sheriffs deputies from 3 different counties, probation/parole officers as well as federal officers from the Immigration and Customes Enforcement.
Gangs in Schools Task Force
April 29, 2009
Over 60 individuals including community members, school personnel (from various school districts) law enforcement personnel and various probation/parole officers came together to discuss the increasing problem of gang presence in local school districts and how to approach the Washington State Legislature for policy changes that would help local jurisdictions in identifying and dealing with the growing gang presence and problem.