The Brick branch of the Ocean County Library will host Gang Wise, a gang awareness program for teens, parents, educators, clergy and other concerned adults about the growing menace of gangs, the library announced this week.
The program begins at 6:30 p.m. March 9 at the branch.
This series is designed to “educate and present strategies detailing how residents can deal with gangs,” the library said in a statement. Local police departments, township and educational officials will have the opportunity to discuss gang presence with their local residents and what is being done to combat it.
Edwin Torres, a retired New Jersey Police lieutenant and juvenile gang expert, will explain the warning signs of gang presence in a neighborhood and why kids join them. He will also give a brief history of gangs, gang markings, such as colors, symbols and clothing use to mark out territory and distinguish each other from rival gangs. Torres will also discuss gang presence in schools and popular culture, and what to look for when gang involvement is suspected and where to go for help.
Teens ages 12 and up are encouraged to attend. The programs are free and open to the public but registration is required. To register call the branch or visit www.theoceancountylibrary.org. Sign in for all programs begins at 6:15 p.m. The program starts promptly at 6:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.