FORT LAUDERDALE – Seeking to reduce the spread of juvenile crime, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum on Monday attacked the growing problem of gang activity in South Florida.
Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti, Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Frank Adderley and representatives from the Miami-Dade Police Department joined McCollum in announcing that they are joining efforts to combat gang activity across the region.
Lamberti said gang members do not recognize jurisdictional and geographic boundaries, and that – in order to be effective – law enforcement must reach across those lines, also.
McCollum called for coordination among federal, state and local governments as well as law enforcement, elected officials, community leaders and the business community to jointly combat the spread of gang activity.
“We can. We will’’ combat gangs, McCollum told a group of business leaders, Broward County School Board members, judges and media professionals gathered on Monday at the Dr. Harry “Hackie’’ Reitman unit of the Broward County Boys and Girls Club’s headquarters in Fort Lauderdale.
The issue of gang activity came into sharp focus last year when four men, allegedly members of the Crips gang, killed two people during shooting sprees in Lauderhill, Tamarac and Delray Beach in what is known as the “Dunkin Donuts’’ case.
Authorities later learned that the shootings were related to new gang members’ efforts to raise body counts as initiation rites.
There are at least 1,500 gangs with more than 65,000 members statewide. In Broward and Miami-Dade counties, there are 157 gangs with more than 3,300 members, authorities said.
Pictured above is Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum.