The police officer in charge of curbing gang violence across BC admits he’s worried about being too successful.
“Now’s not the time to change the path. My fear is that we’re going to be driven by those statistics.”
Dan Malo WITH the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, says 2013 had the lowest gang violence on record.
“As our kids get older every year, we have got to keep focusing on them. If we stop, they are going to make bad decisions and they are going to move towards what we saw in 2007 and 2008 and we don’t want that ever ever repeated again.”
Malo was speaking at a sold-out conference on gang violence prevention where he also said well-known gangsters like accused Surrey Six ringleader Jamie Bacon need to be kept behind bars the rest of their lives.
Instead of idolizing gangsters, young British Columbians are being told to admire more noble professions like teaching.
Malo doesn’t think it’s naive to dole out that advice.
“If we have no hope, we don’t have anything. When you sit down with some of these people and the community leaders and you see how passionate they are, you can’t help, but be as passionate. If they have a mentor that makes good decisions for them and they start migrating towards that, those are the kids we’re not going to deal with later in life.”
Amy Coady of Nanaimo is a young delegate from Nanaimo who took part in a positive thinking workshop.
“I’m very shy usually and I don’t really like to talk in front of people and this is really weird that I actually volunteered to talk to you because that’s not like me, but it kind of got me out of my shell. We all kind of seem to have the same outlook on racism and sexism and stuff, so it was good.”
Coady says the support she’s received since getting in trouble with police has her now thinking of becoming a psychologist.