Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Drugs, Gangs, Parents & Schools in Spotsylvania

Published 10.30.07
by Karen Bolipata
The Free Lance-Star Newspaper

Law enforcement officials visited Riverbend High School recently to set the record straight about gangs and drugs in the county.

Rather than just sharing data, the parents-only PTSA meeting included personal observations of law enforcement officials and parents.

"The first thing about dealing with gangs is admitting you have gangs," said Detective Jason Dembowski of the Rappahannock Regional Gang Drug Terrorism Task Force.

He dispelled some myths.

For example, gangs in Spotsylvania aren't a recent phenomenon, he said. They've been around for about 10 years. Most gangs, he said, are "homegrown" and aren't former city dwellers who relocated.

"I'm not here to scare you," Dembowski told parents. "I'm just here to let you know it's here."

Deputy Ronald Richmond, Riverbend's school resource officer, provided a candid look at drugs in schools.

"Are there no drugs in the school?" he asked. "Of course there are drugs in school."

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