On February 9 the Legislature's Criminal Justice Committee, which had already informally decided against LD 1707, the bill that would have created severe penalties for people associated with criminal street gangs, killed a substitute proposal for a study to be done on how to define gangs and how to have police share information on them. (See "Anti-gang Bill Dumped," by Lance Tapley, February 3.)
John Rogers, Maine Criminal Justice Academy director, told legislators at a work session he hadn't noticed "rampant" gang activity, he had a personal problem with "what a definition of a gang is," and he didn't know where proponents got their information citing a high rate of crimes caused by gangs. He said the academy, which was to be mandated to do the study, already provided training on gangs to law-enforcement officers. After sponsor Amy Volk, a Scarborough Republican, apologized for bringing the bill to the committee, its members unanimously killed it and the substitute study.
: This Just In
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