Nesquehoning Neighborhood Crime Watch members were given a talk on "sustaining your gang prevention efforts."

The main speaker was Trooper 1st Class Shannon M. Yorke of the Hazleton barracks of the state police.

In charge of the meeting was Nesquehoning Mayor Tony Walck. Also in attendance was patrolman Brian White of the borough's police department.

About a dozen Crime Watch members attended the meeting.

Trooper Yorke reviewed anti-gang strategies.

Prevention efforts include limiting the abundance of free and unstructured time for youth, alternative activities for youth, spending quality time with youths, bullying prevention programs, and positive youth development programs.

The trooper said intervention steps include community opportunities for youth, mentoring for youth, providing opportunities for legitimate earnings for youth, and wraparound family services.

Trooper Yorke, a longtime director of the State Police Camp Cadet program, stated suppression includes community civil injunctions against gangs, as well as mobilizing the community and partnering with law enforcement.

She told the Crime Watch members, "Young people of all socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds have been known to participate in gangs. A gang can exist in the inner city, the suburbs, even in rural counties.

"They often share a common purpose: Engage in criminal or violent activities like drug dealing, graffiti, property crime, and gun violence; and often have a common name, symbol, or color," she said.