Montgomery may have a gang problem, according to Councilman Oronde Mitchell, who played a concerning video at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
The video, posted to Facebook, showed two teens brandishing and playing with an assault rifle.
“They were throwing up gang signs, and it was brought to my attention, and I want to make the city aware of the problem that we have,” Mitchell told WSFA 12.
The video highlights a larger issue within the city involving the rise in gang violence, Mitchell said, as well as the number of youths being taken in by the gang lifestyle.
He proposed placing more resource officers in schools and offering programs addressing teens’ specific needs so they may be less likely to turn to a life of crime.
“We have to change the mindset of these individuals that we’re starting to see that’s gravitating towards these gangs,” the councilman said.
The city’s Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) was recently formed to help reduce violence by promoting relationships between the city, various organizations and the public. The OVP also offers mentoring programs for at-risk youth.
Earlier this year, city officials touted statistics showing violent crime, specifically homicides, had dropped as much 34% in June compared to 2021, a year which saw one of the highest rates ever recorded.
While metrics vary depending on the type of crime, the city also reported that crime had dropped by 20% since last year in August.
According to the Montgomery Police Department’s crime map, three weapons violations and five homicides have been reported within the last four weeks.
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