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Orange County Violent Crime Task Force Meets For the First Time

A gun sits in a holster.
File photo: gun in holster

Clergy leaders, law enforcement officers, and community members will meet for the first time this afternoon at Valencia College West Campus as part of Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings' violent crime task force.

Demings announced plans to form the task force after reports of a spike in gun violence in the first four months of this year. He says finding a solution will require collaboration between law enforcement and community leaders, noting gun violence as a social and economic concern. The task force will develop strategies for prevention and intervention, while reconsidering how laws are enforced.

Captain Angelo Nieves, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Office, says the group will also look into who is buying guns and how they are ending up in the hands of young people.

“We’re seeing as has been reported the increase in some of the juvenile crime. The guns that are coming into the hands of our young folks and everything. We’ve had some homicides, some shootings, and not only have they been the victims, but they’ve been the suspects, as well, in those cases.”

The violent crime task force will look at ways Jacksonville and Boston reduced crime following spikes.