Police: Gangs are a serious problem in Georgia

Federal, state and local agencies are coming together to fight gangs.

Walter Marchant Jr., a retired special agent and member of the Georgia Gang Investigation Association is leading a four day training course in Morrow.  Marchant said gangs are a major concern in Georgia.

“Gangs are a serious problem in our country,” said Marchant.  “Out of 259 counties in our great state, gangs one way or another make it into every county.  They are very big in our metropolitan areas, but now they have spread out to the rural areas.”

Marchant said Georgia has an effective law when it comes to gang cases, but a conviction is often very challenging because many are scared to speak and fear gang retaliation.

Marchant said a big part of the course focuses on collecting proper evidence in prosecuting street gangs.

“That would include understanding the gang culture, reading tattoos, understanding gang graffiti, understanding the criminal element that is involved,” said Marchant.

Newly named Morrow Police Chief, James Callaway said he wants to attack the gang problem head on.

‪“This is not indicative of the City of Morrow or Clayton County or Atlanta, it is the entire state of Georgia,” said Chief James Callaway.

Chief Callaway adds that it is not all about putting people in jail, but stopping it before it gets to that point and having a well-rounded approach.

‪“Mentoring that child, showing that child the correct way to go in life and bring them out of that culture,” said Chief Callaway.