TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senators Ronald L. Rice and Nia H. Gill which would create a 26-member Gangland Security Task Force to examine the activities of gangs and the effect that these gangs have on communities, received final approval today.
“Gangs are taking over our streets and the safety of our residents is at stake,” said Senator Rice. D-Essex. “Whether you live in Princeton or Newark, gangs are growing and no neighborhood is safe. We need to come together as a united community and find alternative activities to gang banging.”
The bill, S-1110, would create a task force to study gang activities and research the conditions that foster the formation and operation of gangs. The bill would also consider ways to deter those on parole from returning to or joining gangs when they are released back into society.
According to Senator Rice, the task force would be comprised of police, legislators, counselors, and gang investigators, and would examine the link between gangs and organized crime.
Senator Gill said she believes the most important role for the task force will be to devise strategies for helping school-age children thrive outside of a gang culture.
“Our concerns have to be focused on the children who need an alternative to gang life,” said Senator Gill, D-Essex and Passaic. “Many of their older brothers and sisters already may have perished to gang violence, but we need to turn our efforts to the young school children. Their future is our hope.”
The bill now heads to the Governor’s office for enactment.