Commission to form task force

By Justin Boron

Reacting to the spiraling youth violence in Clayton County, Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell said Thursday he will form a multidimensional task force to combat the problem.

The announcement came at a news conference Thursday afternoon, following the funeral of shooting victim Krystal Williams.

Bell was flanked by representatives from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the juvenile court system, and the Clayton County Police Department. Members of the district attorney's office, solicitor's office and the Clayton County Sheriff's Office also were invited to attend Bell's news conference but did not.

Similar task forces have been formed in the past, with little apparent impact. But Bell said this one would be distinct in its multi-jurisdictional approach, using education and social service resources to supplement the law enforcement component.

"You cannot address gangs simply by locking them up," he said.

Juvenile Judge Steve Teske, known for his progressive stance on juvenile justice, also spoke.

"(Young people) need help to be saved . . and by the grace of God they will be saved," he said.

The first meeting is expected within the next two weeks. Members of the task force will be appointed by the commission and the school system.