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Catawba County law enforcement officials are saying ‘no’ to gang activity with a new program targeting seasoned street-crime offenders.
The Catawba County Gang Initiative, funded by the N.C. Governor’s Crime Commission, is a joint effort by Catawba County’s nine law enforcement agencies, including the Brookford, Catawba, Claremont, Conover, Hickory, Long View, Maiden and Newton police departments and the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office to combat street crimes and gang activity.
Agency law enforcement officials met this week with representatives from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to organize the county’s first offender notification meeting, also known as a “call-in.”
“It sends the message that those crimes won’t be tolerated,” said Sgt. James Kerley, supervisor of Hickory Police Department’s Street Crimes Interdiction Unit.
Leaders compile evidence against the offenders and present that evidence to offenders at the call-in. The offenders are then given a choice to turn their lives around or face arrest, prosecution and possible jail time.