141 W Elm
Wichita, KS 67203
The National Gang Intelligence Center has reported that
on average, nationwide, 48 percent of violent crime has a gang connection. The
Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office is committed to eliminating gang violence in
our community. This is achieved by attempting to keep youth from joining gangs
and by educating the community on ways to identify and report gang activity. In
2012, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced a new initiative to combat
gang activity, Gang Free Kansas,
which assists in this process. This is also assisted by the Wichita Crime
Commission’s Gang Free Wichita.
A criminal street gang is an ongoing organization,
association, or group of three or more persons, whether formal or informal,
having as one of its primary activities the commission of one or more criminal
acts and that has a common name or common identifying sign, symbol, or specific
color of apparel displayed, and whose members individually or collectively
engage in or have engaged in a pattern of criminal activity. (K.S.A.
Question: If the police know who the gang
members are, why don't they arrest them?
Answer: The answer is very simple. It is not
against the law to belong to a gang. It is the criminal activity in conjunction
with gang membership that is illegal.
Gang members are often stereotyped as
inner-city minority males; in reality, gangs cross all
boundaries of age, race, sex, academic achievement, and economic
Gangs exist in large cities, suburbs, and
rural areas all over the country.
Gangs usually form along racial or ethnic
lines, but may contain a mixture of people, especially in
Gang members often come from dysfunctional or
abusive families, or have family members who are involved in
Gang members may be uneducated but
intelligent. They are street-wise and are accomplished in the
art of manipulation.
Gangs may have identifiable leadership and
internal organization, or be a loosely knit.
Gangs follow a strict code of conduct and
ethics as defined by the gang leadership.
Gangs are mainly concerned about being
recognized for their criminal activity so as to establish a
Gangs from the suburbs often copy the Chicago
and/or Los Angeles based gangs, but no identifiable ties may
exist to the original gang.
Gang members are involved in criminal
activity. (Ex. - Vandalism, Robbery, Assaults, Battery, Theft,
Narcotics Trafficking, etc.)
Young people join gangs for many reasons. The most popular
reasons are as follows:
Identity or Recognition - Allows a gang
member to achieve a level or status not impossible outside the gang culture.
They visualize themselves as warriors protecting their neighborhood.
Protection - Kids join because they live in a
gang area and are subject to violence by rival gangs. Membership guarantees
support and retaliation.
Brotherhood - The gang is a substitute for
family cohesiveness. Many older brothers and relatives belong to the gang.
Intimidation - Kids may be forced to join
through intimidation, such as extorting lunch money and/or beatings.
Often young people are unaware of the risks involved when they
join. The majority of these reasons derive from sense of ALIENATION from family
and friends. FAMILY is the greatest single factor that can
determine if a child joins a gang.
Schools – #1 location for recruiting
Teen night clubs
Hang out spots
Prisons / Detention Facilities
The following are clues to potential gang involvement:
Poor academic progress
Lack of interest in extracurricular activities
Lack of interest in recreational activities
Inability to handle peer-pressure
Radical change in friends
Imitation of gang members (dress and behavior)
Signs of drug abuse
Resentful of authority
Negative law enforcement contacts
Graffiti – displaying the name, sign, logo,
slogan, colors of gang
Hand Signs – using the hands and fingers to
form letters, words, or symbols
Tattoos - displaying the name, sign, logo,
slogan, colors of gang on the body
Attire - displaying the name, sign, logo,
slogan, colors of gang in the clothes worn (sportswear, hats,
shoes, shoe laces, bandanas, rolled up pant legs, etc)
Hair – style or cut displayed, or color of
beads/ties used to show affiliation
Jewelry – earrings, necklaces, rings or
buttons can all display the gangs symbol
Colors – all gangs have colors to represent
Symbolism – artwork present on personal
belongings depicting crosses, devil’s horns, hearts, wings, top
hats, gloves, pitchforks, dice, or martini glass.
Talk to your children about gangs and ways to avoid them.
ADVISE YOUR CHILDREN THEY THAT SHOULD NOT:
Associate with gang members or "wannabe/gonnabe"
Identify or communicate with gangs;
Hang out near or where gangs congregate;
Approach strangers in cars who appear to want
information or directions;
Wear gang-related clothing where gangs are
known to gather or traverse;
Wear initialed clothing such as BK - British
Knights - a/k/a "Blood Killer" in high crime areas;
Use words like "Crab" or "Slob" (localized
lingo may develop) anywhere gangs may be; i.e., malls, sporting
Attend any party or social event sponsored by
gangs or their associates;
Take part in any graffiti activity or hang
around where graffiti is present; or
Use any kind of finger or sign language in a
TIPS FOR PARENTS
Impress upon your child the importance of
school and good grades.
Spend quality time with your children.
Get involved in your child's school
Establish rules, set limits and be consistent,
firm and fair in punishment.
Encourage good study habits.
Respect your child's feelings and attitudes
and help them develop self-esteem.
Watch closely for negative influences.
Improve your own self-esteem so your children
can model themselves after the most important "role model"...
TIPS FOR PARENTS/EDUCATORS
Help children develop self-control.
Help children deal appropriately with
Get involved in community oriented prevention
and intervention programs. Urge others to become involved.
Volunteer at your child's school. Gangs are a community problem
and their influence does not stop at any particular boundary.
Listen to your children. Communicate with them
about their concerns and fears.
We, at the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s
Office, are dedicated to helping citizens combat crime in their
neighborhoods. But we need your help! By utilizing
crime prevention techniques around your home, work place, and
vehicles, you can decrease your chances of becoming a victim!
If you have any questions about what you could do to help
protect yourself and your property, please call either your
Community Liaison Unit at (316) 660-3920 or your Community
Policing Unit at (316) 660-0750.
information provided in this document is not intended to be
legal advice, but is merely intended to convey general
information commonly encountered when dealing with the Subjects
discussed herein. Because laws can change very rapidly, we
cannot guarantee that any
Information on this document (or references contained therein) is current
or accurate. Additionally, laws differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and
are subject to interpretation of courts located in each county. Legal advice
must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case and the information
provided herein may not be an appropriate fit for your particular situation. The
Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office, its employees, agents, or others will not be
liable or responsible for any claim, loss, injury, liability, or damages related
to use of this document or any reference provided herein.
Gangs OR Us
National Gang Center
National Crime Prevention
FBI - Gangs
Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T)
Justice Reference Service
Wichita Crime Commission
Center for Victims of Crime
Parent Guide (English)
Parent Guide (Spanish)
Avoid Gangs — National Crime Prevention Council." Home — National Crime
Prevention Council. Web. 10 Feb. 2011.
Written by: Deputy Blogref
Reviewed by: J. Page D1642
Mission: To assure quality public services that provide for the present and future well-being of the citizens of Sedgwick County.
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