Police & Community Work Together To Reduce Gang Violence

Community leaders and the police have stepped up efforts to keep Omaha's young people out of gangs.

At Victory Boxing in South Omaha more than forty kids a night come to the club, and they have all been forbidden from being in gangs or from getting in street fights.

"We show them that you know what join our gang--this is a bigger family, this is a better family, a more positive family. We have your best interest at heart," said Servando Perales, the founder of the club.

Perales knows intimately the plight of many who are in gangs. He was once affiliated with a gang, but Alberto Gonzales helped persuade him to choose another life.

"Working with gang members is like a doctor working with cancer patients, the doctor knows that he is going to be able to recover some of his patients and he knows that some of them he's going to lose," said Alberto Gonzales, who works at the Boys & Girls Club with their D2 program, which works with kids who have truancy issues and are at-risk.

Gonzales said when kids are "lost" the consequences can be deadly, as gun violence and drugs tear through communities.

Police recently expanded their gang unit to aggressively tackle the violence. They increased their daily coverage and presence on the streets. Police say they are also working with community leaders to reach young people.

"Gangs are always going to be around--our job, my job, and everyone else who does this kind of work is that we save one life at a time, one family at a time," said Gonzales.

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