skip navigation

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

  NCJ Number: NCJ 207204     Find in a Library
  Title: Specialized Gang Units: Form and Function in Community Policing, Final Report
  Document URL: PDF 
  Author(s): Deborah Lamm Weisel ; Tara O'Connor Shelley
  Date Published: 2004
  Page Count: 241
  Annotation: This study examined the extent to which community policing and specialized gang units are complementary or conflicting approaches in either principle or practice.
  Abstract: Between 1980 and the mid-1990's, the number of specialized gang units in American law enforcement agencies increased substantially. This was due to the increase in the number of gangs, gang members, and violent crime in many jurisdictions across the country. In addition to the development of specialized gang units, there was the adoption of community policing. The question became whether community policing and the specialized gang units complemented each other or were in conflict with each other. This study, supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, began by describing the missions and functions of the gang units in each jurisdiction and the specific types of activities engaged in by gang units. The study consisted of an examination of police responses to gang problems in San Diego and Indianapolis, in order to compare police policy regarding gang control to actual police practices in the context of community policing. The study consisted of two phases: examining police policy and examining police practice. The greater use of discriminate strategies and strategic approaches to gangs in the Indianapolis and San Diego Police Departments appears to reflect the influence of community and problem-oriented policing in modern police agencies. Crime prevention and crime control were seen as reasonable objectives for police in relation to gang problems. However, preventing the formation of gangs is beyond the mission of today‚Äôs police agencies. The study suggests that gang units can have an important role in modern policing and should be formed and structured to reflect both local experiences and concerns. There is little evidence that gang units conflict with community policing in principle or practice and have the ability to balance community policing. References, tables and data collection instruments
  Main Term(s): Policing innovation
  Index Term(s): Crime specific countermeasures ; Crime prevention measures ; Police research ; Crime prevention planning ; Community policing ; Problem-Oriented Policing ; Gang Prevention ; NIJ final report ; NIJ grant-related documents
  Grant Number: 98-IJ-CX-0083
  Type: Report (Study/Research)
  Country: United States of America
  Language: English
  Note: Dataset may be archived by the NIJ Data Resources Program at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.