WILKES-BARRE, September 12, 2012 – Congressman Lou Barletta, R-11, and State Senator John Yudichak, D-14, have announced the fourth event in their series of community discussions to help combat increasing gang activity in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
The two lawmakers are sponsoring “Law Enforcement and You: A Community Partnership Against Gangs” at 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 27th at the Arthur Street Elementary School Auditorium, 424 East Ninth Street, Hazleton. The event is free and open to the public.
The first three events in the series have attracted more than 650 people who have shown their interest and concern following the release of a major study from the Department of Justice on the growing problem of gangs in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Earlier discussions have focused on what members of the community can do to help battle gang activity, what can be done in area schools combat gang activity and how to begin developing a community action plan against gangs.
“The community’s response to this initiative has far exceeded our original expectations,” Barletta said. “When we first started this endeavor, we believed it was a good idea and had hoped it would help the community, educators and law-enforcement officials wage a war against gang activity. The response has been overwhelming.”
“We have been encouraged by the energy and commitment of the hundreds of people who have attended this series of community discussions. The momentum is building as we find the most effective methods to combat gang activity and work together to implement them in our communities,” added Senator Yudichak.
The September 27th event will include a discussion with panelists: Stephanie Salavantis, Luzerne County District Attorney; Agent Kevin Wevodau and Unit Chief Peter Jurack of the FBI; Detective Chris Orozco, Hazleton Police Department , Trooper Kent Lane of the Pennsylvania State Police; Robert Maguire, Chairman, Lackawanna County Gang Task Force; and Former U.S. Marshal Gary Shovlin. The moderator for the discussion will be Andy Mehalshick of WBRE-TV.
Audience members will also be able to ask questions and offer suggestions on what steps they can take in their community to help reduce gang activity.