Training to combat gang activity

By Caroline Goggin

July 16, 2014 Updated Jul 17, 2014 at 10:53 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A training session was held Tuesday to aid social workers in identifying gang-related material.

This session was deemed necessary by officials, who told Action News they believe gang presence is high in Broome County.

Keeping kids safe was a topic of discussion during the training.

"What the social workers might look out for, and the advice they can give parents, as far as if they think their kid is becoming involved in a gang," said Captain of Broome County Correctional Facility Kevin Moore.

Another topic was how to keep workers safe, through preparation and identification.

"How you identify gang members, through colors, through clothing, tattoos, graffiti," said Staff Development Specialist at Child Protective Services Roger Weston.

According to last year's annual report from the Broome County Sheriff's Office, the jail housed inmates with various gang affiliations including the Bloods, Crips and Latin Kings.

These gangs are found in various areas of the community, where social workers operate on a daily basis.

"We want to make sure they have the best training possible, in terms of what they might be encountering and how to keep themselves safe," said Director of Child Protective Services Julia Hepworth.

In order to continue to keep themselves safe, officials told Action News that better understanding is necessary.

"There are all these tidbits and facts and things that you hear about,” added Weston. “But he [Captain Moore] gave a better scope to the problem, and to the complexity of gangs."

There have been 1,056 inmates confirmed as gang members in the past 14 years.

Law enforcement said they hope trainings will continue to educate those who may find themselves in danger.

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