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Gang Abatement / Violence Interruption
Alfred Lomas Presentation
More than 200 people, including St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster, came to the Allstate Center on Friday, January 13th for a presentation about gang abatement and violence intervention. Law enforcement officers and representatives from social organizations, schools, government, religious groups, and more came from all across the state for to hear Alfred Lomas' presentation. Lomas is a former member of Florencia 13, one of the most notorious gangs in South Central Los Angeles. He is now dedicating his life to reducing the gang violence he was once a part of.
Lomas started using drugs when he was nine, joined the gang when he was 12, and was a part of several violent acts during his time. "I'm not proud to say I am a former perpetrator of violence," Lomas said. "In fact, I am ashamed of it." Now, he works with outreach groups to keep people from joining gangs in the first place and helps people get out of gangs if they want. He said positive relationships are a key to change.
The one-time tuition-free training was sponsored by the Center for Public Safety Innovation at the Allstate Center which includes the Multijurisdictional Counterdrug Task Force Training program (MCTFT), the Florida Regional Community Policing Institute (FL RCPI), and the National Terrorism Preparedness Institute (NTPI).
"I'm glad that St. Petersburg College's Center for Public Safety Innovation can provide this kind of important training to the law enforcement and civilian communities," said Eileen LaHaie, Executive Director of CPSI. "Many of the students that attended told us they are now energized to become involved in the effort to reduce gang violence in the Tampa Bay area."