ATLANTA- Georgia’s Attorney General Office says nearly half of all violent crimes in America are gang related.
In Georgia, the number of gang recruits continues to increase with 71,000 gang affiliates and more than 1500 suspected gang networks.
Georgia Governor Kemp says he’ll roll out new legislation to tackle gangs in Georgia, including creating seven new positions with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Governor Kemp wants to allocate $2 million to create those positions.
Kemp also wants to extend jurisdiction and add stricter penalties for gang members.
He also wants to create a statewide database to help agencies work together to catch gangs.
The Attorney General’s Office says criminals are now using social media to recruit younger audiences.
“Georgia is the hub of the Mexican drug cartel – it doesn’t matter what part of the state you are in, they are operating in it,” said Kemp.
“This is a huge issue – whether it’s drugs, sex crimes, violent crimes, human trafficking – all of these are issues by organized gangs,” said Representative Jesse Petra, (R) Savannah.
The Georgia Gang Investigators Association says nearly all but two Georgia counties reported a rise in gang activity and 155 school districts reported suspected gang activity. They add that gang activity has slowly gone up year-by-year since 2005.
Governor Kemp talked about his legislative priorities earlier this month at his State-of-the-State address. Here’s a recap of some of the other issues he wants to tackle this legislative session.
- Protecting life through reforms to adoption and foster care
- Lower the adoption age from 25 to 21 and triple the adoption tax credits
- Reduce human sex trafficking in Georgia
- Invest in education and increase teacher pay by $2000
- Enhance access to affordable, quality healthcare especially in rural Georgia
- Keeping Georgia the number state for doing business