Fairfax County Gang Prevention Summit Brings Community Together
Fairfax County Office of Public
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010
Feb. 25, 2005
Fairfax County Gang Prevention Summit
Brings Community Together
Fairfax County elected officials and county government employees joined several hundred residents, community-based organizations and business leaders as they converged on the Fairfax County Government Center today to discuss gang prevention, intervention and suppression. The summit, sponsored by the Fairfax County Coordinating Council on Gang Prevention, focused on coordinating existing gang prevention and intervention efforts between county government, schools and community groups.
In a letter distributed to summit participants, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly stated, “Fairfax County has the lowest crime rate of any jurisdiction in the United States. The one cloud on the horizon, however, is the growing threat of gangs. To address this threat we need to involve the whole community and we need to focus on prevention and intervention efforts as well as suppression and law enforcement.”
Summit participants engaged in discussions centered on a recommended gang-prevention model created by the U.S. Department of Justice. Established on the idea that no single program can end gang violence, the model outlines five key strategies: mobilizing the community, providing opportunities, social intervention, gang suppression, and organizational change and development. While other jurisdictions across the country use this model, Fairfax County is one of the first in the region to use it.
Representatives from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) provided a presentation about their gang prevention model. Participants first assembled in small groups to focus on each of the five pillars of the model and then came together to hear the ideas generated from the small group discussions. These ideas will be incorporated into the recommendations the Coordinating Council on Gang Prevention will make to the Board of Supervisors in June.
Established by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the Fairfax County Coordinating Council on Gang Prevention was founded on the premise that gang prevention requires a community-based approach. The council is responsible for the coordination and oversight of the county’s gang prevention and intervention efforts, and the group reports directly to the Board of Supervisors.
For more information about the Fairfax County Coordinating Council on Gang Prevention, visit the Fairfax County Web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/gangprevention/summit or call 703-324-8786, TTY 711. The full text of the chairman’s letter and the OJJDP PowerPoint presentation are also available at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/gangprevention/summit.