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Gang activity is a growing concern

Recently, I responded to a constituent who wrote to me about the rise in gang activity. Following is my response.

Public safety is a top priority of local government. The increase in gang-related activity in the district is of great concern.

The County has a multi-departmental approach to gangs, which includes prevention, intervention, and suppression. Last week, the Public Safety Committee held a worksession focused on law enforcement’s role, which is primarily suppression. You can read additional information about the Committee worksession and suppression strategies in the committee packet.

In addition to Police, HHS, MCPS, and Recreation, among others, work more on the prevention and intervention side of the issue. These efforts include more positive programming that give kids healthier and safe alternatives to gang involvement, as well as programs, like the Street Outreach Network, that help individuals leave gangs.

I’m also including the packet for the last Joint Education/HHS/Public Safety Committee update held last summer, that touches on all these initiatives.

Finally, here’s a recent interview with Captain Paul Liquorie who is leading the centralized street gang unit. He discusses the role of law enforcement, collaboration with different county departments, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and other federal agencies to successfully prosecute criminal offenders.

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Wheaton Public Safety Task Force

As a long-time supporter of redevelopment in Wheaton, I have worked to ensure our County government continues to make Wheaton an important priority. Today, I am pleased to announce that the county is considering launching a Wheaton Public Safety Task Force.


When it comes to Wheaton’s future, we envision a safe and vibrant town bustling with community activity. An integral component of this is the provision of public safety. I understand some of our community members are hesitant to frequent Wheaton due to concerns about crime. Although Wheaton has experienced positive changes since the Wheaton Public Safety Audit of 2004, I firmly believe there is more work to be done.


In early April, Councilmember Nancy Navarro and I, requested the Montgomery County Police Department to establish a Wheaton Public Safety Task Force. This task force would focus on the following goals:


1.) Enhance public safety in Wheaton’s Central Business District
2.) Solicit community concerns about public safety and prepare responses/recommendations
3.) Work alongside other County agencies to improve safety for downtown retail and residential activity
4.) Engage residents and business owners as part of ongoing public safety efforts
5.) Improve public perception of Wheaton’s Central Business District
6.) Review, update, and implement any remaining recommendations from the Wheaton Public Safety Audit of 2004.

Last week, we received a letter from MCPD’s Chief of Police, J. Thomas Manger, calling a public safety task force “a good starting point for us working together. We look forward to getting this important initiatiave going soon and please get in touch with me if you would like my office to provide you with more information. Stay tunes for announcements.