Dothan Deputy speaks out against gangs and drugs

By Staff
Nathan Strickland
PHIL CAMPBELL- Franklin County residents gathered at Phil Campbell High School’s auditorium Monday night to listen and try to understand how gangs and drugs can become a major safety problem in the community.
PCHS’s Students Against Destructive Decisions organization sponsored the event to spread awareness to those who may be influenced by these types of activities.
Houston County Sheriff’s office captain and special investigator Antonio Gonzalez spoke to citizens about his experiences dealing with gang and drug invested areas and what he has learned since he became involved in dealing with those areas.
PCHS SADD sponsors Libby Devaney and Sherry Davis and PCHS principal Cindy Davis thought their students should be aware of certain aspects that are drug and gang-related. Devaney said she had heard Gonzalez at the AEA divisional conference and was impressed on what he had to say about drugs, gang and safety and asked him to come and speak at the school.
Gonzalez stop to speak to students at the school earlier in the day and decided to address the community later on in the evening.
Gonzalez took a look at the biggest city in Houston County (Dothan) and showed multiple gang members and how they act. He believes there is things on television and in music that helps them grab the attention of young people and influence them to join. He also pointed out that the Tennessee River is a potential “goldmine” for gang-related criminal activity and believes miles will not stop them from migrating over to this area. He believes Nashville is a hotspot as well and said a three-hour trip won’t deter them from heading this way.
The two-hour speech continued to inform residents of what to look out for as far as signs gangs are populating the community and what methods residents can take to stop it.
Gonzalez urges folks to be aware of their surroundings and parents to be aware of who their children are hanging out with because friends associated with a gang may spell disaster for the entire family.
Haleyville’s principal attended the event and was impressed enough to invite Gonzalez to his school to speak to students and the community.