'If I can save one or two lives that’s good enough for me:' Former gang member works to deter crime in Tacoma

For 30 years, Jermaine Gore says he lived a life of crime; now he is looking to help crack down on the increasing violence in Tacoma.

Tacoma is dealing with crime numbers that have not been seen in the city in decades.

Jermaine Gore is very familiar with the Tacoma of old. In his own words, he says he is a part of what started the problem decades ago.

"Before the gangs and the drugs came, it was a tight-knit community," said Gore.

Gore grew up in the Hilltop neighborhood in Tacoma. He says at 12-years-old he joined a gang, and started selling drugs.

"Living that lifestyle, having money, doing what you want, it seemed cool," he said.

Three decades later, he knows it was the furthest thing from cool. 

Gore says he has been shot; he also says he has spent more time in his life locked up, than free. Now, he’s looking to make a change not just in his life, but in his city.

Grassroots organization meets to address violence in Tacoma

Thursday, the community-organized group, Tacoma Pierce County Safe, met to address the issue of violence in Tacoma.

"I want to live a normal life. You know what I’m saying. Live the right way and try to get this community back," he said. "If I can save one or two lives that’s good enough for me," he said.

Gore is working to get involved with local organizations, in an effort to provide a voice of experience, and bring change.

On Thursday, he met with members of the group Tacoma Pierce County Safe to talk about plans of action.

Gore says this effort is not just for him, but his mom too. He says she was not able to see him turn his life around, before she passed away. He’s hopeful he can help people, just like him, to make a change before it’s too late.