Meeting to address Merced crime and gangs scheduled for Wednesday

Merced’s Community Violence Intervention and Prevention Task Force is scheduled to hold a public meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Rivera Middle School, 945 Buena Vista Drive.

ComVIP includes local agencies, individuals, faith-based groups and community organizations working together to reduce violence locally, according to Merced police.

Since 2006, the group has been educating the community about violence and gang awareness. The group is also gearing to assist families with parenting and other skills for youth character development, provide information and resources for intervention and crime prevention, and encourage communitywide ownership of crime-fighting efforts.

According to Merced police, the meeting will be an opportunity for people to hear from law enforcement about the reality of gangs and violent crime in the community. Residents will also learn about community resources available to individuals, families and neighborhoods affected by violence.

Several ComVIP meetings are scheduled at various locations through May. Those dates and locations include:

• March 5, Weaver Middle School, 3076 E. Childs Ave.

• March 19, Tenaya Middle School, 760 W. Eighth St.

• April 10, Farmdale Elementary, 100 Winder Ave.

• May 8, Hoover Middle School, 800 E. 26th.

For more information call Lt. Andre Matthews, ComVIP chairman, at (209) 385-8885.