Staunton Council Gets Gang Briefing

By: Damon Dillman
By: Damon Dillman

Four admitted gang members in jail for their roles in an Augusta County murder last year. Gang tagging in Harrisonburg earlier this month. Both proof that gangs are here in the Valley.

"And it's like anything else," Staunton Police Chief Jim Williams said Thursday. "We find out that it doesn't stay necessarily in one locality. You know, if they've got big problems in Harrisonburg, and that's just 20 minutes away on the interstate.

"So we've got to be prepared for that."

Williams says gangs aren't a big issue in Staunton. But on Thursday night, he's briefing city council members on how police would handle a gang problem.

"The best way you avoid things, obviously, is to be pro-active and be prepared, as opposed to waiting, and then something happens and, ‘Gosh, what do we do now?’” said Staunton mayor John Avoli.

But anyone else who wants to hear what Williams has to say is out of luck. Because of some confidential police intelligence, the meeting is being held behind closed doors.

"It's nothing I look forward to hearing about, but at the same time, it's best to be prepared for anything," Avoli said.

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