Parents and students sat together for a fascinating seminar on gang awareness at the Anna L. Klein School on Thursday, March 1, 2018. The “coffee talk” event, held after school in the cafeteria, was hosted by Sgt. Willy Caicedo of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Violent Crime Suppression and Gang Task Force.
The task force is responsible for identifying suspected gang members and suppressing the most violent street gangs and their criminal activity. The assist with the investigation of all gang-related homicides and interview confirmed gang members for information and trends within their respective gangs, providing expert testimony pertaining to street gangs and gang culture.
Caicedo spoke directly to the students in attendance when he discussed the reasons kids join gangs: respect, recognition, protection, fellowship and brotherhood, intimidation, and profits from criminal activity. He pointed out the serious dangers and downsides of participating, and spoke about the differences between the nationally infamous super gangs, with their local subsets or lines, and neighborhood street gangs, which actually wield more power at the community level.
School Superintendent Michelle Rosenberg invited the prosecutor’s office to bring the presentation to Guttenberg to proactively combat crime by dissuading youngsters from joining gangs. The prosecutor’s office also presented a seminar on the dangers of social media to Anna L. Klein students earlier this year, and will probably offer further sessions to students in the future.