Gang symposium puts law enforcement on same page |

Gang symposium puts law enforcement on same page

F.T. Norton
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer

Though crime rates are decreasing in the Carson City, gang-related crime is on the rise, according to officials.

With that in mind, the Carson City District Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with the Sheriff’s Department, hosted the first day of a two-day gang symposium for Nevada law enforcement on Monday.

More than 220 people attended Monday’s seminars that examined the different gangs in Northern Nevada.

Speaker John Summers, director of the Yuba City Family Court, gave a presentation on the sociological and psychological aspects of a gang member.

In it, Summers offered the following statistics:

– Juvenile violence triples in the first hour after school lets out.

– The average American parents spends 38.5 minutes per week in a “meaningful” conversation with their children.

– Your child sees 8,000 murders on television before they finish elementary school.

– The teen suicide rate has tripled since 1960 and it is the third leading cause of death among children with auto accident being first and homicide being second.

– Approximately 6.6 million children witness domestic violence a year.

– Approximately 36 million children are being raised by grandparents.

Summers said most children are drawn to a gang like they are to a security blanket ” for comfort and a feeling of safety.

“You can attach to anything for security. Can that kid having that red rag hanging out of their pocket, can that give them a sense of security? … yes. I bet if you track back in their history, there wasn’t that much attachment going on other than that rag,” he said.

Parents trying to be their children’s friend is not helping the matter, Summers said.

“This isn’t about children feeling good, this is about children feeling responsible,” he said. “Children need to have guidelines and boundaries.

Responsible parents “are the one that hold their children accountable and they hold themselves accountable.”

At Tuesday’s seminars, speakers will touch on outlaw motorcycle gangs, deciphering graffiti, and prison gangs.

District Attorney Neil Rombardo said the symposium is to help law enforcement across the state understand better the dynamics of gang involvement.

“It gets us working together on where we’re going and where we need to go,” he said.

Others sponsoring the event were the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Corrections and Partnership Carson City.

Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.