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The California Gang Investigators Association would like military participants at its next event, the largest gang conference in the United States, set for July 22-25.

The 12th annual National Gang Violence Conference in Anaheim, Calif., will cover the latest trends in gang activity, prevention and investigation, according to Sgt. Dennis Porter of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, a conference spokesman.

As of Wednesday morning, there were “not many, if any” military representatives registered for the event, Porter said, pointing to the situation in Iraq as the likely reason. No servicemembers from the Pacific are planning to attend, military officials said Wednesday.

“If there are any military police or investigative units that are available to come, we would appreciate their attendance,” Porter said. “In the past, we’ve had former CID investigators lecture about gangs in the military and have had a strong military police showing.”

“It’s no secret” that gang members occasionally join the military and carry on their gang activity in the service, he added, or that some dependents are involved with gangs.

“If the gang members are living on base as dependents, this can present some challenging problems to the military police and base security,” Porter said.

The CGIA was founded in 1977 to foster better relationships and networking among the various investigative units working street gangs in Los Angeles County and throughout California, according to the CGIA Web site.

Through the years, the association grew to include members across the nation, in Australia and Canada. Members include corrections, parole and probation officers and prosecutors.

For more information on the CGIA, visit their Web site at www.cgiaonline.org.

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