Gearing Up for Gangs: San Jose Task Force, Community Groups Aim to Prevent Summer Violence - NBC Bay Area
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Gearing Up for Gangs: San Jose Task Force, Community Groups Aim to Prevent Summer Violence

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    Several South Bay community groups are gearing up for an uptick in gang violence that may come during the summer months. Damian Trujillo reports. (Published Wednesday, April 20, 2016)

    Several South Bay community groups are gearing up for gang violence that may come during the summer months.

    San Jose mayor's gang task force is also making preparations for the busy summer, when violent crime typically spikes. The task force puts boots on the ground once gang violence occurs, to prevent retaliation.

    "Whenever something happens in the community, we're always out in the community," said Israel Canjura, a member of San Jose's gang task force.

    The task force was out on Lyndale Avenue Saturday night when a man was killed in the area. Sources tell NBC Bay Area a student at Job Corps was shot execution style by a group of teens in a car. Police have not classified the killing as gang related.

    At Guadalupe Church's lawn, white crosses have been placed to honor the 14 homicide victims in San Jose this year.

    "Gang violence never goes away," said Chuck Reed, former San Jose mayor.

    Reed said the strategy and partnerships of the gang task force help prevent bloodier summers in San Jose.

    "It's proven to be greatly valuable with gang violence because you have people that can intervene because you have this retaliatory gang violence," Reed said.

    Last summer, the gang task force got 245 teenagers jobs to keep them off the streets. This year, through partnerships, the mayor wants to expand it to 1,000 teens.

    "Those youth are going to be working with Jabil, Microsoft, Target and a lot of other companies," Canjura said.

    The goal is to keep the kids occupied so their names do not end up on the lawn of Guadalupe Parish.

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