NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. - Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown said last Thursday that he supports Georgia Governor Brian Kemp's initiatives to fight violent street gangs.
According to a press release from the sheriff's office, Brown met Jan. 28 at the state capitol with Kemp and sheriffs from around the state to discuss Kemp's plan to reduce gang violence in the state. At the meeting, the sheriffs expressed their willingness to work with the GBI and other law enforcement agencies to combat gang crimes and violence around the state.
"What we're primarily focusing on is criminal street gangs," Brown said.
According to the release, the sheriff agrees with Kemp's recent statement that it's time for gang members to find a new place to live.
"Here in Newton County, there is definitely no home or safe haven for such criminal activity," Brown said.
The release lists gangs operating in Georgia including Bloods, Crips, Gangster Disciples, Ghostface, Aryan Brotherhood, Surenos and numerous others. It said the gangs are involved in crimes such as aggravated assault, firearm use, narcotics trafficking, robbery, burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny and extortion among others.
"Neighborhood-based street gangs pose a significant threat for violent crimes in the U.S.", the release states.
Brown said it's important tackle the problem now.
"We must take gangs seriously," he said, "If we fail to immediately address this critical issue, we will regret it in the long run."