First Gang Response Program meeting gauges the scope

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The Carson City District Attorney's Office, as well as representatives from 10 other local law enforcement agencies, had their first meeting as part of the Gang Response Program aimed at designing a plan for combating, preventing and prosecution gang activity in Carson City.

Last week, the director of the National District Attorneys Association, Joanne Michaels, toured Carson's high gang activity areas with District Attorney Neil Rombardo and Carson City deputies.

"The purpose of the tour was to give Director Michaels an idea of the challenges faced by local and state law enforcement in Carson City. Although the director knew of our issues, the tour allowed her to observe firsthand the gang issues in Carson City," Rombardo said.

On Wednesday, Michaels and Rombardo met with top law enforcement and government officials at a meeting hosted by the district attorney's office where they discussed the scope of the gang problem in the city and how each of their agencies handles it.

Participants at the meeting included Mayor Marv Teixeira, Sheriff Kenny Furlong, School Superintendent Mary Pierczynski and Lyon County Assistant District Attorney Mark Krueger.

Other representatives included Carson City Juvenile Probation, Lyon County Juvenile Probation, Department of Public Safety, Investigations Division, Nevada Highway Patrol and the Nevada Department of Corrections.

Rombardo said the purpose of the first meeting is to understand the nature of the gangs in Carson City and to identify resources to address gang activities.

"The meeting was very encouraging, and I am excited about the great support of law enforcement and government officials at both the state and local levels. Our plan is to develop a community-wide program geared to prevention, intervention, and suppression of gang activities in and around Carson City," he said. "We are seeing too much gang violence in our neighborhoods, gang intimidation in our schools, and graffiti throughout our community. We know there is a connection between gangs and Carson City's drug trade. The gang issue must be a top priority for Carson City."

Last week's meeting is one a series of at least seven meetings that are geared to recognize the issues, bring together the resources and craft a gang response unique to Carson City's needs, according to the National District Attorneys Association.

Rombardo applied for the grant early last year, and learned in June that Carson City was among only six jurisdictions nationwide to receive the help.

In the application for the assistance, Rombardo said the city's location geographically makes it an ideal rest stop for Mexican drug traffickers and the estimated 400 gang members in Carson City are easy prey for large drug cartels looking for people to move their merchandise.


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