Nevada Sheriff Visits Tonga To Discuss Gang Problems

Officer concerned about criminals being deported back to Tonga where police have little experience with gangs

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, April 17, 2017) – A senior US police officer in California, Capt. Joe Duffy of the Douglas County Sherriff’s Department, has expressed his concern with the presence of deported criminals and gang members in Tonga.

“These are not nice people. These are hardcore bad guys," Duffy told Californian paper the Record-Courier.

According to the Record-Courier, Duffy was in Tonga last month where he reportedly advised the Tonga Police, Military and Parliament. His trip was in response to a request by the Tonga Police to help with a “rising gang problem”.

Duffy was accompanied by the U.S Ambassador to Tonga, and the head of the Nevada National Guard, Brigadier General Zachary Doser. The trip was funded by the U.S Department of Defense.

Duffy, who is a 21-year veteran of the U.S police, said that he had suggested that officials consider forming a task force with people trained to deal with deportees brought to Tonga each year.

Duffy said that many of the people he talked to, had little knowledge of gang activity.

"They just don't have any experience with this,”

"They didn't know what it stood for" he said about local graffiti tags “TCG” which apparently stands for Tonga Crip Gangster, a street gang in the U.S made up of Tongans.

"If you don't get on top of it, it will get out of control", he added.

According to U.S Government statistics, from 2004 to 2012, between 22 to 38 people were annually deported to Tonga from the U.S.

Matangi Tonga Magazine
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