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Public access needed to known gang members
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Editor, Ceres Courier,

Stanislaus County has between 10,000 and 12,000 gang members, over 5,000 are documented gang members. To put these numbers into perspective, gang members in our community represent a higher number than the entire population of Denair, Del Rio, Westley, Grayson, Hickman, and Hughson combined.

There's no question we need to find solutions to our gang problem and it's time to get serious. We need a publicly accessible gang database similar to Megan's Law. A database that would provide specific information on documented gang members, such as a name, description, age, and crimes he or she has been convicted of.

Cal Gangs is a statewide gang database currently for law enforcement's use only. Instead of reinventing the wheel, we should open part of this database so the general public can search for documented gang members living in their area. Just as we have the right to know if a sexual predator is living in our neighborhoods, we have the right to know if domestic terrorists live there also! Documented gang members in our community far outnumber sexual predators and they pose an even greater threat. If any of you have tried to get a gang members name you know how difficult it can be, typically you can't get close enough to get a street name much less a real name. With access to a publicly accessible gang database, you can instantly get that information, and it would dramatically reduce the number of calls to law enforcement without specific suspect information, and I predict with a database, the number of calls with specific suspect information will rise sharply and consistently.

A publicly accessible gang database will empower the general public by providing lifesaving information should they or someone they know become the target or a victim of a documented gang member.
Knowledge is power.

Linda Taylor

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