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Assistance Needed in Fighting Gangs

November 07, 1990

I am appalled! On the same day you were glamorizing gangs with three color photos of a male model in "street savvy" clothes in front of a graffiti-covered wall on the front page of the View section, more than 500 educators, parents, law enforcement and judicial authorities and interested citizens were trying to learn more about preventive and interventive measures with gangs at the Gang Symposium in Downey, sponsored by the Los Angeles County Education Department, Downey Unified Schools and the city.

Furthermore, I searched your paper for a report about the symposium and found none. In that same issue in the Orange County section there was a report of gang sweeps by Santa Ana police that stated the gang population in Los Angeles County as 71,000 and the number of gangs as over 700, but we were informed that the members number 100,000 and the gangs, over 800.

Gangs are a symptom of alienated, turned-off, disenfranchised youth, and the results of children being involved in them include canceled lives, terrorized generations of families and many times, death. We need to educate citizens on how to prevent gang participation and not use any type of media, subliminal or overt, to entice them to join a life of destruction. Entire communities need to get involved--parents, teachers, counselors, law enforcement and judicial people, businesses, service clubs, churches and government. And we need all the help you can give us.

ESTHER I. HARRIS,

San Clemente

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