Gangs on the north shore?
The north shore is partially shielded from a variety of ills which affect more urban areas in the region. Foreclosures havent run rampant and violent crime isnt as pronounced as it is in the valleys.But, said Washoe County School District Police Detective Arnel Ramillo, gang activity is present in places like Incline Village, if only in small ways.Ramillo presented a lecture last week at Incline High School on identifying gangs and what the WCSD is doing to stop activities at area schools.The gangs arent really in the schools in Incline, but there are some kids who are involved with that sort of thing coming out of Kings Beach, Ramillo said. Some of the issues we see at Incline are just indicators that a kid might be involved in a gang.He said gang members can be identified by the colors they wear often sticking with only red or blue, among others graffiti or tags on their homework and binders and tags on their lockers and belongings.Ramillo told an Incline audience including that gang involvement in Washoe County schools can start as early as fifth and sixth grade, and one Incline student was identified at eighth grade for having some involvement.He told the educators about some of the programs enacted by the WCSD Police including GRIP Gang Response and Intervention Program. The two-hour program takes place once every two weeks and invites students identified as gang associates and their parents to learn about the perils of gang life. Ramillo said the perils are many, from beatings to rape, drug addiction and prison.One Reno student, a 14-year-old male, is in prison after shooting another student with a shotgun.We tell them in the program that if they dont change their ways they can end up one of two ways locked up in prison or dead, Ramillo said.Teachers need to handle gang members with care, Ramillo said, taking pains not to disrespect them in front of classmates and other potential gang members. The best way to deal with a suspected gang member is to pull them aside and attempt to relate to them on their own level.Their reputations are very valuable to them, Ramillo said.He said parents or educators are encouraged to call WCSD Police at (775) 348-0285 if they have notice any gang activity or are concerned about a student. Concerned students or parents also can call IHS at (775)832-4260.
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