Speakout: Next week's question

April 24, 2005

ISSUE: After the Dec. 8 shooting death of Edgewood cabdriver Derald Howard Guess, public attention was focused on the possibility that the slaying was gang-related. By Jan. 12, Harford officials announced an initiative that would coordinate "all the county's forces in battling gang activity in the county."

PRO: The Guess slaying shook the county. "The Sheriff's Office has had detectives ferreting out gang activity in our county after the migration of gangs began to expand into suburban areas of the Baltimore region over the past few years, but this partnership with all of the police agencies in the region, along with the important role the county administration will play, provides a comprehensive approach, from identification to arrest to prosecution to prevention," Sheriff R. Thomas Golding said.

CON: Golding also tempered the alarm: "In Harford County gangs are actually in their infancy, reaching out to kids in order to get new members to survive," he said, adding, "We need to be there when they do so they can't get a foothold."

YOUR VIEW: How have the activities of criminal gangs affected you, and what steps should the county's anti-gang initiative be taking now?

Please send e-mail responses by Thursday to harford.speakout @baltsun.com. A selection of responses will be published Sunday. Please keep your responses short and include your name, address and telephone number. Addresses and phone numbers will not be published.

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