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NCJ Number: 213239 Find in a Library
Title: Taking Gangs to Task
Journal: Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine  Volume:30  Issue:2  Dated:February 2006  Pages:44-46,48
Author(s): Shelly Feuer Domash
Date Published: February 2006
Page Count: 4
Document: DOC
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the evolution of a gang task force under the leadership of the Hempstead Village Police Department (New York), which serves a suburban Long Island jurisdiction.
Abstract: Two detectives, Ricky Smith and Joe Serrano, became aware of the extent of the gang problem in Hempstead Village in the course of investigating crimes beginning in 1995. As a means of assessing the extent of the gang problem, they began collecting information for a database that included gang members' names, nicknames, tattoos, pictures, arrests, where they hung out, and other information they deemed useful. The database now contains information on more than 1,200 gang members. The information in this database helped the two detectives persuade department administrators that a specialized effort was needed to deal effectively with the gang problem. The detectives were sent to ongoing gang training, and the information they gained in this training helped them to convince other officers of the value of increasing their knowledge of the nature and operations of the gangs in the department's jurisdiction. Eventually, other local police agencies became aware of the gang problem, and they came on board to push for a gang task force with connections to the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The task force includes representatives from DEA, the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, the New York State Police, and four county and local law enforcement agencies. This article describes the successes and difficulties faced by the task force. In spite of being effective in removing gang members from the streets, gangs themselves persist as new, younger kids join, suggesting the difficulty of addressing the factors that spawn gang membership.
Main Term(s): Gangs
Index Term(s): Interagency cooperation; Intergovernmental relations; Juvenile gang behavior patterns; Multi-Jurisdictional Task Forces; New York
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