VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – More than 500 law enforcement officers from all along the east coast converged at the Wyndam Hotel & Resort in Virginia Beach for a three day gang awareness and training conference.
The Virginia Gang Investigators Association has hosted the conference for 12 years. Opening ceremonies began at 8 a.m. with keynote speaker and United States Congressman Ted Poe .
Additional speakers will include: Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Marla Graff Decker, John Buckovich, Deputy Secretary of Public Safety, John Hackman, United States Marshals Service, and Virginia Beach Sheriff and Ken Stolle.
Experts said awareness of gang signs, symbols, and slogans, is key to recognizing what’s going on in your community.
“If you see what you believe to be graffiti – gang graffiti – on your wall or on your fence, don’t just take it down. Call law enforcement. They need to come document it, they need to look at it,” said Marla Decker, Virginia Public Safety Secretary.
Conference organizers said it’s important that school age kids are educated about gangs.
“They’re starting to dabble in it. They’re starting to be curious about what are these gang symbols and signs, and I want to be part of that. We can break that cycle once they make that transition to middle school. I think we’re getting ourselves way ahead of the game,” said Gene Ballance, VGIA Vice President
Those attending the conference will receive training in the many areas of gang crimes including: Border Violence, Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs, Juggalo‘s, School Shooters, International Gangs, Hispanic Gangs, Hybrid Gangs, East Coast Gangs, Midwest Gangs, Female Gangs, and Gangs in Virginia.
The conference will end Friday, October 22 at noon.
great news for the residents of Virginia , its time to stomp out the juggalo gang.