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Cummings: Local Leaders Need Help To Combat Gangs

U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke and a host of judicial officials from Maryland were among those at the 37th Annual Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Weekend at the D.C. Convention Center searching for answers to the growing problem of gangs.

Cummings said more has to be done to help local leaders, from pushing federal legislation to increasing funds for witness protection programs to forging new bounds with church and faith groups.

"Legislation has been filed to give state officials more money so that they can better protect witnesses," Cummings said today. "The CBC members will be working with state and local officials so that people can be aware of what this whole gang problem is all about."

"We need to work with the churches to give young people more things to do," said Cummings. He said most young people at his 10,000-member Baltimore church are not gotting into trouble because it has so many programs for them. "Young people are looking for the same thing that other people want, love, companionship. We need to concentrate on the family."

-- Hamil R. Harris

By Anne Bartlett  |  September 29, 2007; 1:10 PM ET
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