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Joint task force forms to fight area gangs
FCSO teams up with Cherokee, FBI
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Forsyth County News
Local authorities are joining forces with two other agencies in the fight against gangs.

Forsyth County Sheriff Ted Paxton said in a statement that his department will work with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI as part of a gang task force to deter gang activity.

The task force also will provide gang education to schools upon request.

Two deputies each from Forsyth and Cherokee counties will work with FBI agents to collect information on gangs in their jurisdictions.

Sheriff’s Lt. Col. Gene Moss said joining the task force is a preventive measure. While there is evidence of some gang activity in Forsyth, he said authorities are trying to keep it at bay.

“We’re a very proactive agency and we don’t want it to get to be a problem that we’ve seen in some other places,” Moss said, adding that gangs are transient and it’s important to know when they might come here.

“We already had a gang unit working and they were involved in education in the schools and doing some of the things that they’re going to be doing with the feds. We’ll be joining this task force and we’ll have access to federal resources, which will make us a lot more efficient.”

A task force arrangement has proved effective in other jurisdictions, Moss said, noting that joining the group carries no additional expense for taxpayers.

Gregory Jones, special agent in charge of the Atlanta FBI office, said the purpose of bringing the FBI’s Safe Streets Gang Task Force to outlying metro Atlanta communities is to “combat the spread of gang activity.”

“It has the added benefit of increasing the intelligence base among Georgia’s gang investigators, giving them ready access to the information they need to combat gangs in their areas, or in the best case, disrupt them before they have a chance to form,” he said.

The task force should be operational by March 1. FBI agents will coordinate and oversee its activities. The department will also act as liaison between the task force and the U.S. Attorney’s office for possible prosecution in gang-related arrests.

E-mail Julie Arrington at