Orange Co. task force set to release recommendations to reduce gang violence

The Citizens Safety Task Force in Orange County is set to announce its recommendations to help reduce and prevent violent crime and gun violence during a meeting Wednesday afternoon.

The task force is made up of nearly 40 members including young adults, youth mentors, faith-based leaders, law enforcement, behavioral health professionals, and community advocates.

Over the last four months, the task force has been brainstorming strategies and solutions to help reduce crime and gang violence in Orange County. Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings convened the first task force meeting in November after a string of shootings investigators believed were gang-related.

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Task force members previously told FOX 35 it was looking at making recommendations regarding education and mentoring youth, among other things.

Bishop Kelvin Cobaris of Impact Church is a task force member. "All of the minds at the table, prosecution, law enforcement, intervention, and prevention minds are collectively putting together recommendations to give back to the mayor that we believe will help reduce crime and redirect our young people in a right path."

The task force is set to meet at 2 p.m. at Silver Star Recreation Center, Magic Gym located at 2801 N. Apopka Vineland Road in Orlando.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said it has made strides against gang violence with its task force with Orlando Police and the FBI.

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Investigators told FOX 35 they have made nearly 150 gang-related arrests between August and October 2020 and seized more than 100 guns off the streets.

But there are still several unsolved cases and Cobaris said more needs to be done.

"The reality is if the community does not participate by informing law enforcement or Crimeline and letting them know what they know, you don’t lead to any arrests or any justice to situations like this."