Macon Police Gang Unit cracks-down on crime
The number of shootings in Macon have been on the rise. There have been five shooting near the Unionville area alone. The gang unit of the Macon Police Department said they are doing their part to crack down on the crime.
"One of my basic jobs as being a gang task supervisor is that I have to do street patrol," said Detective Sergeant Cedric Penson the Gang Unit Captain for the Macon Police Department.
A ride-along with Sergeant Penson revealed the parts of Macon that are known for high levels of gang activity.
"What you have here on this house right here is what we call graffiti gang tagging, he said as he points to a home covered in graffiti in the Village Green Neighborhood, as you noticed it has the neighborhood or the part of territory that this gang represents which it was Bloomfield."
He patrols areas including the Village Green neighborhood, Bloomfield, and Unionville. He hopes to build relationships to try to prevent gang violence from happening by reaching out young people in those areas and their parents. "Because the parent is the start of the foundation," said Detective Sergeant Penson.
We sat down with one parent of two boys and former gang member near the Unionville area, who chose to remain anonymous, for her take on the recent crime spree. "Now-a-days, you got to live in fear. I think yes (it has something to do with gang affiliation) and I think they are trying to prove a point," she said.
She adds that it's time for parents and neighbors to start taking responsibility. "The gang task force, they try, but the truth is that we as a community we have to help out some type of way."
Detective Sergeant Penson says, "During a normal workday we will take 3 or 4 guns off the street but is seems like it's never enough."
As the patrol continued, other law enforcement officers were also canvassing the neighborhood where 5 shootings recently took place. There was very little activity right down the road near Napier Avenue in Macon. Though the gang members are not visible, they make their presences known.
Detective Sergeant Penson, Gang Unit Captain
“We are in the area of Whitehall (Street), Napier (Avenue) and Bartlett Street, said Detective Sergeant Penson as he point to a home nearly covered with gang symbols and tributes, which is primarily a Mafia Territory."
Members of the gang unit say they will continue to be visible in the community to try to detour gang crime for what they call misguided youth.
"They are either going to be law abiding citizens or they are going to be criminal," saidPerson.
According to Macon Police Department Public Information Officer Jami Gaudet, there have been 13 shootings this year so far, which is 5 more than last year this time. The gang task force says they are doing what they can to stop those numbers right there.