Toledo Police say they are aware of school gang members - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Toledo Police say they are aware of school gang members

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Willie Carter III Willie Carter III
TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Police say Carter, the student who brought a gun into Start High School, was a known gang member. He's one of many students at Toledo Public Schools that police officers say they keep a close eye on.

Toledo Police say there are several students that go to Toledo Public Schools that are affiliated with gangs. Police say some do the minimum to stay safe when they are at home in their neighborhood, like dress a certain way so they are less of a threat. Others are deep in the world of gangs, and those are the students TPD and TPS watch closely.

"We know where their locations are and their hang outs are. We know who their members are and that information is not only shared through TPD but also the police officers that work in the schools. We do that so we can keep the schools safer," said Sergeant Joe Heffernan, Toledo Police Department.

It's a strong partnership that keeps Toledo's Public Schools safe. Toledo police, their gang unit, school resource officers and Toledo Public Schools police force are working together inside the schools and out.

"Just the knowledge of knowing there's an officer in the school prevents a lot of problems," said Heffernan.

These officers use the same radio frequencies, share information, train together and communicate often. Keeping a pulse on these young gang members has proved invaluable, including Monday.

"The school resource officer was aware of this particular individual and that he had gang affiliations so he took those extra precautions when approaching him," said Heffernan.

Part of the mission of TPD and TPS is to mentor and foster kids away from the gang lifestyle. The two departments work on this with programs throughout the city and school. Heffernan says they have a lot of success stories and they hope for more.

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