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Community Response to Gangs -- Section B: Gang Reduction Efforts by the Task Force on Violent Crime in Cleveland, Ohio (From Gangs in America, Second Edition, P 263-269, 1996, C Ronald Huff, ed. -- See NCJ-165296)

NCJ Number
M L Walker; L M Schmidt
Date Published
7 pages
The Cleveland, Ohio, Task Force on Violent Crime began in 1981 with the mission of reducing gang activity, and task force staff continue their efforts to reduce youth violence.
By 1987, the task force recognized significant changes in local gang activity and that neighborhood street gangs were becoming more violent. During the 1987-1989 period, the task force also began noting an increase in gang graffiti at about the same time crack cocaine arrived on the scene. By 1990, 98 street gangs had been documented in the Greater Cleveland area. The task force countered by developing a training program for organizations impacted by youth gangs. The training program included gang recognition and containment and information on how to manage fear. In addition, the task force surveyed key government officials and community leaders and made recommendations on how to improve gang prevention efforts. In 1990, the Cleveland Police Department developed a youth gang unit, and the task force worked closely with this unit. The task force was particularly successful in reducing youth gang violence. Projects were also initiated to eliminate graffiti and to educate news media on why they should not name gangs in their news programs and articles. The task force continues its youth violence reduction mission with support from city government, the school system, courts, local and State law enforcement agencies, social and youth-serving agencies, and the community at large.