Tackling gang violence in the South Valley.
It's been nearly two weeks since a gang member shot at Visalia police officers.
Now the community is banding together to fight the growing problem.
Visalia police say gangs are spreading across town and terrorizing the city. "They're branching out into whole population of Visalia and committing crimes outside of where they live," said Jared Garcia with the Visalia Police Department.
Officer Garcia says police look for people who congregate and Young kids, some as young as 9-years-old, who are possible gang members.
But gang violence is up in the city and tackling it is a constant battle. "They want to challenge us sometimes; they'll stare us down when we drive by," said Garcia.
Last week two Visalia officers were shot while chasing a 25-year-old man through homes.
On Tuesday, the Visalia Gang Task Force met as they do once a month, but this time they were joined by the Visalia Unified School District and Visalia Police Department and members of the community.
Visalia Police Chief Colleen Mestas said, "We also use every facet from prevention to intervention and suppression."
The goal is to combine their resources to curb gang violence. Police, Schools, faith based groups, elected officials, and park and recreation officials are involved.
Darlene Martinez with the Visalia YMCA said, "We're trying to engage as many children as possible from the grades 1st to 8th grades."
Youth groups encourage Summer programs aimed at keeping young kids busy, safe and out of gangs.
Police are concerned about the busy summer months and hope communities keep their guards up.
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