Monday, February 4, 2008

Gang strategy updated

The Lincoln Police Department developed and published our gang plan, Gang Activity in Lincoln: a Strategy for Prevention and Response, back in 1994. It had been updated and republished twice, but it had been quite a while since we had revisited it. Late last year, I asked Capt. Brian Jackson, who heads our Narcotics Unit, to pull together a committee for an update.

The dust-off is complete and the updated report is available on our website. The report is organized into categories of action. In each, we describe what we have done and what we intend to do. One of the nice things about the update process was to review what actually happened. We did what we said that we intended to do in almost every instance, and I think it helped.

Gang activity in Lincoln does not seem to be as prevalent as it is in many cities of a quarter million, but it is definitely present. Every now and then, the general public gets a glimpse of this with something like the Scheel's burglary. I was a little surprised at how shocked many people seem to have been when they learned that this was a gang crime. For the most part, though, people in Lincoln still seem somewhat unaware. I suppose you have to be in the right place to see it. Keeping the heat on is critical. The introductory statment from the original report still holds true:
"We are convinced that an aggressive public policy aimed at preventing gang recruitment and membership, coupled with vigorous efforts to respond swiftly and firmly to gang-related crime is imperative to the quality of life we enjoy in Lincoln."


Anonymous said...

Law enforcement often takes flak from some of the public about gangs, but I figure that you probably do as much as you are legally able to do, and because they're generally juveniles, that may not be much until they commit a serious crime. To put it another way, you can arrest them, but as they move through the system, they usually get the revolving door. In any case, it's not law enforcement's fault that juvenile gangs exist in the first place.

Strong adult male role models are naturally sought out by adolescent and teen males. When there isn't one at home, they are inclined to seek it elsewhere, possibly in a street gang.

Roughly what percentage of Lincoln's gang-affiliated juveniles live in a home with both of their biological parents? What percentage live in a single-parent home with their biological father? Those questions are probably rhetorical to a large degree, because I think I already have a good idea of the answer to both (very few).

JT said...

Every year seems like more and more stuff gets "tagged". Not sure if this is gang related or not. Sure sucks to have to clean it up, though.

Anonymous said...

Coincidentally, the latest edition of the excellent Blackwater Tactical Weekly newsletter contains a few excerpts from (and links to) gang-related articles from various sources, including this article about proposed anti-gang legislation in Utah.

Anonymous said...

I've been noticing all the "SSW 13" spray-paint vandalism here in Lincoln's south bottoms where I live. Having just been a victim myself (my alley facing garage was sprayed last night), my concern and curiosity has grown. I hope that our local Hispanic(ssw 13 is a Hispanic gang based out of LA) community will step up in ensuring our youths are accounted for, not only for the sake of vandalism but also for their safety and that of others. I'd like to be more involved myself. Spraying might not be the most criminal thing to do, but it does demonstrate how fluid gang influence can be throughout the US and could be the potential for much worse.