Gov. Brian Kemp and Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vic Reynolds announced on Monday the head of a new anti-gang task force.
The anti-gang task force is part of Kemp’s campaign pledge to “stop and dismantle criminal gangs,” and will be used as a tool to help local prosecutors build cases against alleged street gangs across Georgia.
Jaret Usher, a former Cobb County gang prosecutor, will lead it.
“We have the unique opportunity to go to every corner of this state,” Usher said. “We have the ability to collaborate with local, state and federal partners, share information, share knowledge and to combat the gangs as extensively as we need to and as extensively as they’re committing crimes.”
Reynolds said the task force is designed primarily for investigating and putting together prosecutorial cases against suspected gang members, and said the bureau is still committed to working with local leaders on prevention and intervention programs as well.
“It’s certainly the bureau’s mission, if we can, to do things on the front end to stop that,” he said. “I certainly try to do it day in and day out in making myself available to schools.”
Reynolds said he’s met with leaders from the Department of Juvenile Justice to work with youth detention centers to make sure kids won’t go down the streets or roads that we end up having to investigate and prosecute later.”
Kemp said that nearly every county in Georgia has reported gang activity, and said the task force will help law enforcement crack down on gangs and keep Georgians safe.
The state legislature appropriated $500,000 for the task force in the to-be-signed Fiscal Year 2020 budget which starts July 1.