Tri-Cities Gang Outreach Program Dismisses Founder/Director - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tri-Cities Gang Outreach Program Dismisses Founder/Director

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A gang outreach program that has worked alongside the criminal justice system in the Tri-Cities is seeing major change. A gang outreach program that has worked alongside the criminal justice system in the Tri-Cities is seeing major change.
KENNEWICK, WA - A gang outreach program that has worked alongside the criminal justice system in the Tri-Cities is seeing major change.

The founder and director of FIRME outreach was dismissed from his position this week. NBC Right Now first noticed Jesse Campos post something about his dismissal on Facebook. We decided to ask the man who helps many of our areas youth stay out of gangs why he was removed from the organization he founded. He told us he'd rather not discuss his dismissal at this time.

We went to the office space in Kennewick where the group had worked previously only to find it empty. When we did get in touch with the president of the FIRME Outreach Board of Directors we got our answer. They say Campos and his position just don't fit on the payroll.

"Long term how do we go from here? You would think that Jesse would be part of that because he has such a way of connecting with these kids, but for us an Executive Director, we didn't have the funding or need that position at this point in time," said James Wade, President of the FIRME Outreach Board of Directors.

FIRME is instead focusing time and money on a long-term state funded study of gang issues in the Tri-Cities. They say Campos will still likely still contract a program through the Benton Franklin Juvenile Justice Center helping local youth stay out of gangs, but that is no longer part of FIRME. 

Wade went on to tell NBC Right Now they're focusing on sustaining their funding to create a gang prevention program with lasting effect that addresses the core problems in our neighborhoods.
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