Georgia prosecutor creates new group to fight gangs

June 26, 2021 GMT

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — The top prosecutor in Savannah has created a new crime-fighting group to take on gangs.

Chatham County District Attorney Shalena Cook Jones announced the Racketeering and Organized Crime Coalition on Thursday. The group includes law enforcement and prosecutors, but is also open to community and faith leaders and activists.

The coalition’s goals include sharing resources about organized crime, developing a protocol to improve response times to incidents and creating a coordinated response team to deploy to gang activity and mass shootings, the Savannah Morning News reported.

The group will also develop strategies to protect victims and witnesses and prevent retaliation.

“What creates safe communities is crime prevention and intervention,” Jones said Thursday, according to WTOC. “My goal is not just to solve the cases that come to the courthouse or come across my desk. My ultimate goal is to strive so that we can prevent crimes from being committed.”

The announcement follows a shooting earlier this month at a Savannah apartment complex that left two people dead and six others injured, including a toddler.