Here's what we know for sure: Any gang problem that exists in our region pales when compared to the gang problems that plague Los Angeles.
Traffic on our highways is not nearly as bad either.
The point is local residents and their government representatives should not use gang problems in Los Angeles as a measuring stick. That's just plain silly.
Our community is confronted with drug traffickers, violence and crime, and young people are at risk. Excusing this criminal behavior by calling it "wannabe" activity is irresponsible, and comparing local problems to the gang challenges California officials face is ridiculously irresponsible.
But much has been learned from the California experience and from law enforcement experience closer to home. Earlier this month, the Sandusky Police Department and Sandusky school officials sponsored a day-long seminar to educate area police departments and other officials of the dangers of gang activity. Two Franklin County sheriff's deputies led the discussion and shared their experiences battling this problem.
No local school district is immune from the problem of potential gang activity. Gang violence plagues neighborhoods in Toledo and in Cleveland. Why would anyone think it can't be a problem here?
We applaud the police department's effort to deal with this challenge head on, and we applaud those departments that took advantage of the opportunity.
We also applaud the partnership forged between police and school officials. Sandusky administrators realized long ago that acknowledging the problem was the first step in combating it. The district took steps to educate administrators and teachers and banned gang-related colors, clothing and behavior.
It's not a cure-all, but at least they are in the fight.