In speaking with citizens from the community, most agree Danville and the surrounding areas are home to many street gang members. My question is, why can’t public safety officials realize this?
The director of public safety for Danville does not think Danville has a gang problem. A former deputy director of Danville Police has said not to talk about gangs to the press because we don’t want people to think Danville has a gang problem.
Another former deputy director of Danville Police has mocked the work of a handful of officers who did address the gang problem. And finally, a meeting was held with Danville’s mayor about the gang issues. The mayor said he would address the concerns. I’m still waiting.
As a 26-year law enforcement veteran, I can assure you gangs exist in Danville and, yes, they are a problem. The gangs bring with them the crime, violence, fear and intimidation they are notorious for.
Before a problem can be solved it first must be identified. My message to the public safety officials is to pull your heads out and see the problem. Then maybe you can fix it. But until you acknowledge a problem exists it will never be solved.
My message to the community is to urge your leaders to address the gang problem so the problem-solving process can begin. The officials are fooling no one but themselves and, by not dealing with it, they are derelict.
Kenneth J. Kidwell
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