TOPEKA – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt Friday announced the state will observe Gang Awareness Week beginning October 12.
In a news release, Schmidt said he and Kansas Education Commissioner Dr. Randy Watson joined forces in requesting the designation.
The project recognizes the need for support from parents, educators, young people and communities to help prevent youth from joining gangs and to report gang activity to law enforcement. Gov. Sam Brownback issued a proclamation declaring October 12 through 16 as Gang Awareness Week.
Schmidt said the Gang Free Kansas partners have created and distributed toolkits for school administrators, teachers, parents and students which provide information, discussion topics, warning signs and other resources to help prevent gang involvement.
The effort is designed to help Kansas educators become more aware of gang prevention strategies and resources available. As part of this initiative, law enforcement experts are available to provide education and awareness training to schools, community groups and the general public.
“We need the support of parents, educators, young people and communities to help prevent youth from joining gangs and to report gang activity to law enforcement,” Schmidt said. “Schools play a vital role in this effort to keep our students safe and far removed from the tragic consequences of gang violence.”
Gang Free Kansas is an educational initiative led by the attorney general’s office and developed in cooperation with law enforcement throughout the state. It is based on the Gang Free Wichita program led by the Wichita Crime Commission.
The program includes educational materials for local law enforcement officials to use in presentations to community groups and a website for the public to learn more about how to spot and report gang activity. Kansans can learn more about the Gang Free Kansas initiative by visiting the website at www.GangFreeKansas.org.