Solutions sought for Carson’s gang problem |

Solutions sought for Carson’s gang problem

F.T. Norton
Nevada Appeal

Carson City has received a number of grants in recent days aimed at combating street gangs.

District Attorney Neil Rombardo announced Wednesday that Carson City has been selected as one of six jurisdictions nationwide that will participate in an initiative known as the Gang Response Model created by the National District Attorneys Association.

“The Carson City Sheriff’s Office has identified at least nine gangs in Carson City, and various factors are drawing more gang members to the Carson City area,” Rombardo said. In the application for the assistance, Rombardo noted that 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.

“We are optimistic that this program will bring new ideas to Carson City to assist us in addressing gang violence and related crimes,” he said.

According to the association’s Web site, the gang program is designed to help prosecutors understand their role when responding to criminal gang activity.

The initiative involves the development of a Gang Response Model, a quick response team made up of national experts in the field of gang violence and on-site training to provide prosecutors and law enforcement with a strategy to combat gang activity in their jurisdictions.

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This is the first year for this program.

“I hope this (changes) the disturbing trend of what’s occurring here in Carson with the gang violence on the rise and gang tagging on the rise,” Rombardo said. “This will give us an entire plan (to combat gangs) across the community.”

The Carson City Sheriff’s Department also announced Wednesday that is was awarded two grants that will provide overtime money for the gang unit and education for parents, said Undersheriff Steve Albertsen.

He said a gang outreach grant worth $61,000 will be used solely to pay for overtime.

“This will allow us to go out there and be more active.”

And a $24,000 grant will be used to produce an educational pamphlet modeled after the successful Southern Nevada Community Gang Task Force’s handbook in which signs of gang involvement are detailed.

Albertsen said the Carson City Sheriff’s department’s current pamphlet lacks the depth of the newer tablet and will be given only to parents, signifying the latest trend in gang suppression – education.

“A lot of this grant money is going into intervention,” he said.