Task force or multiagency collaboration
Respondents reporting youth gang problems in their jurisdiction in 1998 were asked whether their agency participated in a formal multiagency task force or collaborative effort that focused on youth gang problems as a major concern. Table 40 shows that about one-half (49 percent) of all respondents said yes. Two-thirds of jurisdictions reporting involvement in task forces were in large cities (403 of the 612 total). Table 41 shows that task forces were more prevalent in the West (59 percent) and least prevalent in the South (42 percent).
Table 42 shows that the prevalence of task forces varied by region and area type. For all area types, task forces were much more common in the West than in other regions (except for large cities in the South). Regardless of region, more than one-half of respondents from large cities reported having a task force. Thus, task forces were far more common in large cities.
Respondents reporting task force involvement in 1998 were also asked about other entities participating in the task force. Table 43 shows that 9 out of 10 respondents reported linkage with another police or sheriffs department and some other criminal justice agency. The next most common participants in task forces were some other government entity (43 percent) and schools (42 percent), followed by community-based organizations or citizen groups (only 19 percent). However, as shown in table 44, task forces in large cities had a much broader range of participating agencies than task forces in other area types. In addition to other law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, large-city task forces were likely to include a private corporation (72 percent), some other government entity (69 percent), private social service agencies (69 percent), schools (64 percent), and a community-based organization or citizen group (61 percent). It is interesting to note that 67 percent of small-city respondents reported that religious institutions participated in local task forces.