THUNDER BAY – Crime News – The Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service (NAPS) have announced the start of a new effort to reduce the growing issue of gangs in First Nations communities. The commencement of Project NorthStar will start on Monday, February 24, 2014.
Sgt. Jackie George states, “The main objective of Project NorthStar is to educate, mentor and protect the youth of the Nishnawbe-Aski Nation (NAN) about the realities of gang life. A designated police officer will be working on this project and in partnership with Youth Probation and Parole”.
The NAPS Guns & Gangs Unit along with the Criminal Intelligence Analyst will also be part of the Project NorthStar Team.
Project NorthStar will travel to the NAN communities served by NAPS to provide a two-hour presentation on the following topics for youth between the ages of 10 and 17 years of age:
– To reduce the growing number of gang members in Nishnawbe-Aski Nations communities
– Education of youth, parents and community members
– Support communities and youth at risk by teaching skills needed to resist joining gangs
– Mobilize community resources and bridge communication gaps between these organizations
– Facilitate and lead meetings and gatherings aimed at youth at risk
Project NorthStar was created from funding of $100,000 provided by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services Proceeds of Crime – Front Line Policing Grant and will run for approximately six months.