Atlantic City will resume its neighborhood walks against violence Friday, including an educational aspect.
Community and law-enforcement leaders are expected to meet at the All Wars Memorial building at 2:30 p.m. to walk through the city’s troubled neighborhoods for the first time since a federal complaint named 34 people as members of a drug-trafficking gang that ruled Stanley Holmes Village and other violence-prone areas of the city.
The Coalition for a Safe Community — formerly Stop the Violence of Atlantic City — will lead the walk as part of an effort to find ways to curb the violence that has plagued the area, specifically at Stanley Holmes, Carver Hall, the Schoolhouse Apartments and in the Marina District.
Walks began last summer, when the number of homicides began to hit a record pace. Those walks included groups coming together at midnight but varied on times as shootings began happening in the daylight hours.
Included in Friday's march will be a data-collecting aspect, as part of the new Pleasantville/Atlantic City Municipal Planning Board, the sixth such board in the state joining political, religious, city and law-enforcement leaders to tackle violence from all angles.
The local board’s university sponsor, Richard Stockton College, will have representatives at Friday's event to look at better ways to use such initiatives, said Kaleem Shabazz, a member of the group.
This will be the first such walk through the area since a federal investigation led to the arrest of 34 people said to be involved in a drug-trafficking organization known as Dirty Blok. The gang was organized out of Stanley Holmes Village and ruled the surrounding areas, including the Schoolhouse Apartments, through fear and intimidation, according to the complaint.
That case continues to work its way through the courts, as six members who were in custody before last month’s raid await first appearances on the charges next week, court records show.
At least seven female defendants have been freed on $100,000 bond each, records show. They have several set conditions to their release, including electronic monitoring and restriction of travel.
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