Gangs in Lynchburg
Gangs in Lynchburg
Gang activity in Lynchburg has been on the mind of local citizens recently. For good reason, residents of this city want to make sure that gang activity is dealt with, not tolerated and not allowed to spread. In order to confront gang activity in this city it takes an experienced leader in the courtroom, the office and in the community. Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Bethany Harrison is the only candidate prepared and qualified to address the issue of gang activity in Lynchburg.
What has Bethany done to confront gang activity? What is the office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney currently doing? What can you expect from Bethany if she is elected? Find out more below:
Bethany Harrison has aggressively prosecuted gang members since 2006.
- Bethany is the only candidate who has a proven track record of prosecuting gangs and gang members.
- Bethany has won convictions against numerous gang members, sent them to prison, and gotten them off of our streets.
- Bethany has received specialized training in the prosecution of gang cases.
- Bethany has existing relationships with Lynchburg law enforcement tracking and fighting gangs.
The Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office takes gangs very seriously.
- The Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office has a designated gang prosecutor.
- She is cross-designated as a Special Assistant United States Attorney to allow for activity in federal courts against gang members.
- She has specialized training in gang prosecutions.
- As recently as late-2016 the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office filed gang charges against several gang members, obtained convictions and they were sentenced to years in prison. The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office worked with federal authorities to bring these gang members before a federal grand jury. They were charged federally as well.
The Lynchburg Police Department says gang activity has declined in recent years.
- Sgt. Gary Fink with LPD is a Certified Gang Expert and Public Information Officer. He has been interviewed several times recently and each time has stated that gang activity has decreased.
“There are 43 Classified gangs with over 500 known members. With these numbers, Sgt. Gary Fink says criminal gang activity has decreased over the years.” WSLS 10, April 5, 2017 http://www.wsls.com/news/police-lynchburg-seeing-a-drop-in-gang-activity
“Based on the number of [permanent residents] and the number of gang members, it’s a 0.7% involvement in gangs as far as gang members identified, which is really low as far as Lynchburg goes,” Fink said, stating the levels of gang activity have decreased in Lynchburg since the early 2000s.” Lynchburg News & Advance, April 4, 2017 http://www.newsadvance.com/news/local/officials-address-gangs-in-lynchburg-area/article_f9f78cb4-19b1-11e7-8a71-d7a776a0c1e2.html
“Fink added the city’s violent crime rate has dropped over the last five years, along with the overall crime rate.” WDBJ 7 Report, April 5, 2017 http://www.wdbj7.com/content/news/Lynchburg-Police-Gang-activity-on-the-decline-locally-despite-recent-murder-418436743.html
So what can we do to fight gangs and further reduce gang crime?
- Aggressively prosecute gang members when they commit criminal offenses.
- Bethany Harrison is the only candidate with the experience and the know-how to effectively prosecute gang members.
- Work alongside community partners and community leaders to address the root causes of our youth being attracted to gangs.
- Bethany Harrison began working here in Lynchburg in 2006 and has been actively involved in various community programs over the years addressed at helping to educate our youth and steer them away from crime.
- Bethany will make it a priority to work with the Boys & Girls Club and continue working with community partners to be visible and present in our schools and community organizations. Gang prevention is a community-wide multifasceted effort. Bethany has the experience and the relationships to play a vital role in that process.
- Address the cycle of domestic violence in our families.
- Conservatives like Bethany Harrison know that the family is the cornerstone of our society. We must work to prevent our children being raised in families and circumstances where violence is seen as an appropriate reaction.
- Children raised in such circumstances feel alienated and look elsewhere to find a sense of belonging. Finding a sense of belonging in an gang can appear alluring to a child raised in these circumstances.
- Letting parents know that there are servies available to help them leave their violent circmstances and a Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office who will stand up and fight for them is an important step to breaking this cycle.
What can we do? We can elect Bethany Harrison Commonwealth’s Attorney. She is the only candidate with the experience, qualifications and vision to combat and confront gang activity in Lynchburg.