Don’t be in denial about gangs, prosecutor tells community

“I’m no longer on the question of ‘does Tippecanoe County have gangs?’ I’m beyond that,” Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Pat Harrington said. “I see them. I’ve prosecuted them. I’ve convicted them. They’re in our schools, in our parks, in our courthouse. … The problem we have is perception. They don’t affect your world.“You don’t see it. And when you do see it in the media, you don’t want to believe it.”

Creating a communitywide strategy to combat youth gangs was the focus of a forum held Wednesday afternoon at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Lafayette.

The forum, hosted by the Indiana Youth Institute, attracted about two dozen people in the social service community who deal with local children on a daily basis.

Attendees explored how to recognize gang activity, and how to develop a plan to address established gangs.

Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Pat Harrington was the event’s featured speaker, and he led an hourlong presentation that explained the impact gangs have on the entire community.

He said the first step in coming up with a solution is realizing that the problem exists.


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