Tarrant juvenile official will join state gang task force

Posted Monday, Mar. 25, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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FORT WORTH -- The chief of the Tarrant County Juvenile Unit for the district attorney's office has a new assignment that will allow him to be more involved in the statewide effort to reduce gang activity.

Gov. Rick Perry has appointed Riley Shaw, a 13-year veteran with the Tarrant County district attorney's office, to the Texas Violent Gang Task Force. The task force was created by state lawmakers in 1999 and is charged with tracking gang activity and the growth and spread of gangs statewide.

"I believe early intervention is the key to success," Shaw said. "The best way to keep kids from getting involved in gangs is to get everyone -- parents, siblings in the home, people living nearby, all those who have frequent contact -- involved. Families consist of lots of people, and it's always helpful if you can engage the people around them."

Shaw is one of four people Perry appointed to the task force, which is designed to make sure that law enforcement is trained in the best techniques available and that information is shared among agencies focusing on the problem.

The task force members have a wealth of knowledge and unique perspectives that they bring to this issue, Shaw said. The task force deals with juvenile gang issues, prison gangs and gangs associated with drug cartels, Shaw said.

"The reality is that there are a whole lot of people in gangs who aren't juveniles anymore," Shaw said. "We need knowledge and coordination at all levels to be successful in having a sophisticated response to this issue."

In addition to Shaw, the governor appointed:

Albert "AJ" Bonner Jr., a lieutenant jail administrator for the Hale County Sheriff's Department,

Tim Flores, a gang intelligence officer in Harlingen, and

Patrick Natividad, a sergeant in the El Paso Police Department.

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752

Twitter: @mitchmitchel3

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