Framingham / Ashland
Previously focused area of gang activity is spreading into bordering neighborhoods.
Framingham PD reports that the number of gangs decreased, but the number of gang members has become larger and these members are better organized and younger.
Framingham PD street crimes unit, in conjunction with the detective unit and school resource officers, have identified 210 active gang members in the greater Framingham-Ashland area.
Gangs are using social networking sites to recruit new members.
Gangs are taking on national affiliations, signs, and tags; tagging incidents has increased from 9 in 2006 to 66 in mid-2008.
Shannon CSI efforts will focus on areas where tagging and gang activity have been taking place.
Programs will be geared towards youth aged 11-16.
The newly formed Framingham-Ashland steering committee, made up of key project partners and diverse representatives of community leadership, will meet regularly to identify regional service gaps.
Framingham/Ashland police departments will:
- Continue to fund a school resource officer to serve a multi-regional alternative high school.
- Increase the number of youth that participate in police activity league programs to build youth relationships with police and town officials.
- Increase community dialogues through expanding opportunities for diverse populations of tri-city area to provide input into cooperative Shannon CSI efforts.
Framingham/Ashland service providers will:
- Maintain one full-time street outreach worker.
- Increase the Police Athletic League open gym basketball program from two nights to five nights a week.
- Increase the number of youth referred to Boys & Girls Club preventative programs that address gang recruitment issues and help youth identify and confront potential self-destructive patterns in their lives, and to work towards becoming peer leaders.
- Hold Metrowest Gang Dialogues to share information regionally about gang issues and work together across political and professional boundaries to sustain the initiative and identify gaps in gang prevention.
Engaged high-risk youth in positive behaviors through expanded and new programs implemented at the YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs, and police activity leagues.
Street outreach worker helped place 8 youth in summer employment, guided 2 families through mediation, placed 30 youth in out-of-school programs, and worked with the Metrowest Regional Transit Authority to secure free bus passes and get a new bus route that circles youth areas including the YMCA, Parks and Recreation, the Framingham Library, and the Boys & Girls Club.
Addition of a school resource officer at the multi-regional alternative high school has allowed more data to be collected on the current gang situation, helped stem current gang recruitment efforts, and built positive relationships with youth.