In an effort to stop gang violence, the Macon Police Department invited members from the community to get educated and ask questions at a seminar Thursday night.
Among several ways to curb gang activity, Lieutenant Carl Fletcher says, getting involved with young people is at the top of the list. A room full of people inside City Council chambers watched and listened for answers to Macon's growing gang problem. In the audience, parents, some with their children and other concerned neighbors who want safer communities.
Fletcher gave an in depth explaination about gang signs and the meaning of different initials found on baseball caps and other articles of clothing.
"Plant Street Gangster Crips. What's on Plant Street? Yes, Tindall Heights," said Fletcher.
Gang expert Wally Marchant from the Georgia Police Academy also spoke. Then after a video presentation, questions and comments came one right after the other.
"I don't know what the problem is. I really don't know, prayer yeah, an anoiting prayer," said Jacqueline Murray.
"We all gotta talk to one another and do more than talk. We gotta put the talk into action," said Frank Ray.
One woman said, "What I wanna know is, with the taskforce, will we see like a surge in crime from the bottom up or a surge of crime from the top down?"
After the meeting we talked with 23 year old India Reese who's worried her brother could become a gang statistic.
"I don't feel like they are reaching out enough to young people. I have a 17 year old brother that's headed in the wrong direction and not because of our parent. There's only so much a parent can do."
When asked if the seminar was helpful, her feelings were mixed, but most agree it was a step in the right direction.
To keep the momentum going about how to stop gang activity, Fletcher says he'll meet with the chief and talk about scheduling meetings like the one Thursday at several police precincts.