East Texas Neighborhood Gathers To Stop Gang Violence

Thursday night members of a Southwest Tyler neighborhood showed East Texas, they're prepared to stand up against crime in their backyard.   In the past month, there have been six reported shootings, police say are gang related. Their councilman, Donald Sanders organized a town hall meeting tonight to inspire his citizens to get involved.   More than 100 people came out to learn how they can stop the gang violence. Chief Swindle says this is the most people he's seen at a town hall meeting. Members of the Tyler Police Department answered questions and updated the community on what's been going on in their neighborhood. Several people got up and said the community has to start with the children by educating them on gang violence.

"We must create programs and methods in order to stop them before they are there," said Dr. D.C. Brown, community member. "Once they are there it's too late. We need avenues and we need methods that's going to instill some principles in them before they start doing drive-by shootings, before they start selling drugs."

"It's always about the police department," said Cheif Gary Swindle. "What can we do, or I have this problem, police department you solve it. Well, its not about us only. It's about us together solving the problem."   

The neighborhood has seen a recent increase in gang violence.  Everything from drive-by shootings, to the robbery of a credit union by men police are now saying are gang members.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com