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Safety forum planned

North Suffolk residents have the opportunity tonight to meet and interact with the new Neighborhood Enforcement Team that will be helping to combat gang activity in their area.

A public safety forum will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at Northern Shores Elementary School, 6701 Respass Beach Road. In addition to meeting the NET, those attending can learn about how to prevent gang violence, how to form community watches and how to get involved in National Night Out. They also will get a chance to visit with their City Council representatives.

North Suffolk-area councilmen Leroy Bennett and Robert Barclay will host the meeting.

In October, City Council approved the use of about $433,000 to create the new gang enforcement team. This team will be dedicated to addressing gang problems in North Suffolk neighborhoods, while the first NET will be able to focus on problems in the downtown area.

“The police up there will need their support,” Bennett said of the residents. “They need to work together as a team and make sure we have a safe community.”

Barclay said he has seen the “town hall meeting” format used successfully in other cities.

“It’s a great mechanism to get people informed,” Barclay said. “I’m hoping it will be a good turnout. If it works well, it may be useful to deal with other issues.”

For more information on the event, call 514-4102.