Last week we showed you the Gilroy Mayor candidates' opinions on anti-gang enforcement in Gilroy.
Now we've got answers on the same subject from several candidates for Gilroy City Council.
See what Rebeca Armendariz, Paul Kloecker, Cat Tucker and Terri Aulman have to say on local gangs below.
Question: Is Gilroy's gang problem manageable? What can be done in the immediate to help the situation?
Rebeca Armendariz: Gilroy has many assets to offer its gang impacted youth and adults, including committed community members, churches, and our non-profits with the expertise to help curb the problem and prevent future generations of youth from being tempted by that type of lifestyle.
Those members of our community involved in gang-related crime who don’t want to change, can be dealt with by their parole officers and local law enforcement. But our emphasis needs to be on prevention and intervention services for the individual and families.
Paul Kloecker: The gang problem MUST be manageable. This is a serious threat to many aspects of the Gilroy community and, unfortunately, there is not an easy solution. The solutions must be on-going and intensive. I am encouraged by the recent collaborative efforts such as the neighborhood forums at Glenview School and South Valley School. I attended the Glenview forum and was impressed by the community involvement and interest.
As a Parks and Recreation commissioner, I also believe that strong city recreational programs are a vital part of encouraging youth to seek alternatives to gang participation. In addition, the policy of schools requiring community service for students who are perhaps below employment age provides alternativechannels for youthful energy.
Cat Tucker: We should continue to support youth programs to aid in prevention methods along with supporting the Anti-Gang Task Force.
Terri Aulman: I think the Gilroy Police Department is doing an outstanding job managing our gang problems especially in their efforts through Operation Garlic Press. This type of operation sends a clear message to gangs that they are not wanted or welcomed in Gilroy.
We need to continue to use early intervention through organizations like the Gilroy Gang Task Force. We also need to continually focus on programs that provide our young people with opportunities to participate in sports programs and other programs that keep them involved in healthy activities that keep them off the streets and out of trouble.
Does this help you decide who to vote for? Have you already voted? Tell us in the comments!