N.C. man picked to address youth and gang violence prevention in Danville
DANVILLE, Va. (WSET) -- Danville has hired a North Carolina man to be the City's first youth and gang violence prevention coordinator.
Robert David Senior, is currently a juvenile court counselor in Rockingham, North Carolina. He has held that position since 2009. Previous to that he worked as a community gang liaison with the group Greater Deliverance. He also worked as a probation and parole officer in Rockingham. During that time, David co-founded the Richmond County Gang Task Force.
David says it was during his time as a probation officer in California that he became passionate about gang prevention. He explained, “While living in California and working as a probation officer, I often volunteered at the local alternative school, and I saw how bright, personable young men were used as pawns to advance the gang agenda.” David added, “Since that time, I have made it a personal mission to help communities provide services for youth who desire to change their life."
Danville City Manager Ken Larking says he thinks David will be well suited for the position, saying “Robert not only has the necessary training and experience, but he has a passion for empowering youth and, as a result, improving communities.”
The program will be new for Danville. The city has adopted the model recommended by Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the National Gang Center for gang violence prevention. Under that model, different agencies come together to take part in activities and programs catered to children and and groups at high risk for gang involvement.
David said he is happy to bring his way of thinking to start the new program. He said, “My philosophy is that everyone has a purpose. They key is to find the right avenue to direct that purpose. Gang members have purpose, but unfortunately it is being directed in the wrong avenue and misused.”
David will start in his new position Monday, June 11.