Gang info session scheduled for parents, public

2011-09-08T22:11:00Z 2011-09-08T23:45:04Z Gang info session scheduled for parents, publicBy ZACH BENOIT Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette
September 08, 2011 10:11 pm  • 

Montana gang investigators and School District will hold a public meeting on Monday night to discuss gangs in the state.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Lincoln Center Auditorium, 415 N. 30th St., and admission is free.

Missoula Police Detective Guy Baker, who is also senior vice president of the Northwest Gang Investigators Association, will give a presentation covering gang culture and how to recognize signs of gang activity.

Dave Kenat, a transport officer and reserve deputy with the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office who is also a member of the association, said he will talk with community members about gang activity in Billings.

"We're hoping that this information will provide the public a thorough understanding of what to look for and to understand that gangs do exist here," he said.

The meeting is the result of an invitation the gang association sent to SD2, asking if it'd like to send representatives to a regional meeting in Missoula October. School officials couldn't attend, but contacted the association to see if they'd give a presentation in Billings to school staff, parents and the public.

Kenat said gang activity in the Billings area has dropped dramatically this year, thanks in part to concerted efforts from law enforcement, but that it still exists.

"Many people think that once we handle the problem once, that it's going to be gone forever," he said. "It's never worked that way because you're always going to have continuous change."

In addition to working as a Missoula detective and helping gang investigators across the West, Baker is a member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Safe Streets Task Force, the California Gang Investigators Association and the Western States Gang Intelligence Network.

For more information on the meeting, contact Kenat at the sheriff's office at 256-2929.



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