CMPD Anti-Gang Program Gets Major Funding Boost
Just a few weeks ago, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe quadrupled the number of officers working on the city's gang unit. Now the department's anti-gang program - called "Gang of One" - has received a one-point-point million dollar federal grant, which is seven times the funding it got last year. Monroe says the new money will go into quote "stemming the tide" of young people joining gangs. "You got a lot of kids that are caught up in gangs now that want to get out," says Monroe. "And Gang of One has had some success in steering kids away from gangs." Gang of One Program Director Fran Cook says at least 100 youth have managed to leave a gang through the program's hotline since it started four years ago. She also says juvenile gang crimes were down 22 percent in 2007 compared to the previous year. The new federal funds will pay for additional staff to run the gang of one hotline and coordinate gang prevention programs in schools and community centers.