During the December 7, 2010 Florida Cabinet Meeting, the Florida Sheriffs Association’s president Hamilton County Sheriff Harrell Reid presented Attorney General McCollum with a “Presidential Proclamation” for his outstanding efforts to reduce gang violence in Florida. In addition, Sheriff Reid presented a second Proclamation to all the members of the Florida Cabinet, recognizing their efforts to reduce crime in Florida.
Sheriff Reid said the entire Cabinet is to be recognized for making gang reduction one of their top priorities. “We also recognize Attorney General Bill McCollum as he was pivotal in overseeing the development of the state’s first Statewide Gang Reduction Strategy," he added.
In October 2007, General McCollum initiated a collaborative effort among local and state leaders from the faith-based community, educational programs, prevention and intervention organizations, the business community, criminal justice, government and other concerned citizens. The Gang Reduction Strategy (GRS) focuses on developing and initiating specific solutions to dramatically reduce gang membership and gang-related activities.
The strategy was implemented by the Coordinating Council through seven regional gang task forces across Florida. The council focuses on empowering youth to lead gang-free lives, improving law enforcement suppression efforts and addressing rehabilitation and re-entry issues.
For the first time, Florida has identified approximately 1,100 gangs and nearly 49,000 gang members, associates and gang-related persons throughout the state. Before General McCollum initiated the GRS, Florida had no reliable numbers to assess gang prevalence in the state.
“Due to the leadership of the Cabinet and of Attorney General Bill McCollum, great strides were made to educate youth, make prevention/intervention more effective, improve law enforcement and dramatically reduce gang membership and gang-related crime,” Sheriff Reid said. “Because of this commitment of time and effort, Florida is a safer place.”