Albany Gang Task Force officials met in a violence prevention meeting Thursday afternoon to propose tactics to help parents keep their children from turning to gangs.
Captain Wendy Luster, Commander for the Albany Police Department Gang Task Force, says children are turning to gangs at younger ages than they have in the past. She says officials are noticing that once 11 and 12 year olds hit middle school, their behavior changes and parents should be aware of their child's actions.
During the Gang Task Force meeting, John Thomas, a former drug dealer, spoke to community members about his trials in becoming a drug dealer at a young age. Thomas was sentenced to 20 years in prison at the age of 19. He's since changed his life and is helping keep youths in track in his community.
Cheryl Calhoun with Parents for Change spoke about methods and tactics the organization uses to steer kids in the right direction. The organization uses mentors to talk to difficult teens and find out why they are having problems.