Where Are Gangs found?

Odds are that there are criminal street gangs in our community, your schools, and your work places. Your jails and prisons almost certainly have prison gangs and probably street gang members who have been incarcerated and have not yet joined a prison gang. And finally, perhaps, parents have gang members living in their own home and do not recognize the problem. 


“Wannabe’s”- We suggest that you eliminate this term from your vocabulary

“We don't have gangs in our community” is a phrase that is too often uttered by the city fathers, the police, the chamber of commerce, or the tourist bureau in many communities. This is often followed by, "All we have are a bunch of wannabes.” By calling gangs and gang members "wannabes,” a community is telling its citizens that it has nothing to worry about. 

The inference here is that since the gangs in your community didn’t originate in Los Angeles or Chicago, they are not the dangerous gangs of New York, the Chicago street gangs or the Los Angeles street gangs - therefore, they aren't real gangs. Nothing could be further from the truth. If a group of youths in your community have banned together and call themselves by a particular name, whether the name is a local street, a local neighborhood, or the Bloods, Piru Bloods, Crips, Latin Kings, Mara Salvatrucha, or Gangster Disciples, and if they use signs, symbols and or colors; and if they are committing crimes; they are a gang regardless of what members of the community say.


Gang Identification

It is also easy to understand how parents fail to recognize the gang identifiers, such as graffiti, signs and symbols, tattoos, or particular styles of clothing, worn or used by their son or daughter. How does this happen?  They simply do not take the time to become aware.

It is extremely important to realize and understand that not everyone who wears a particular color, or who has a tattoo, is a gang member. Bloods wear red, Crips wear blue. There are thousands of gangs in the U.S. and most identify with one or more colors of every description. Today's youth, just like the youth of past generations, like to be "faddish.” To some, wearing colors and sagging pants is cool


Traditional Gangs

n  Exist in specific geographical areas for a long period of time.

n  Have established set of rules, regulations, signs, and symbol.

n  Members are usually older, young adults.

n  Highly structured and sophisticated.

n  Very Loyal.

n  Can have regional or national ties.

n  Easy to recognized


Non-Traditional Gangs

n  Have not existed in a specific area for a long period of time.

n  Struggle with their identity.

n  Very little if any structure or organization.

n  Members are usually younger, often juveniles.

n  Usually dissolve very quickly.

n  Not loyal.

n  Usually have no ties or affiliation with traditional gangs.

n  Very difficult to identify.



How do gangs affect our youth?

n  Gang members usually drop out of school

n  Many become dependent on alcohol and drugs

n  Gang members are likely to be involved in crimes throughout the rest of their lives

n  Many put themselves in danger of disease, prison, and death

n  Gang members or more likely to be killed or seriously injured


 Gangs in Wilson


North Carolina Gang Investigations Association defines a gang as:


A group or association of 3 or more persons who have a common identifying sign, symbol, or name and who individually or collectively engage in, or have engaged in criminal activity that creates an atmosphere of fear and intimidation.


Our community has an emerging problem with gangs. There are many kinds of gangs, but whatever kind, they mean trouble. They cause fear, destroy property, drive away businesses, threaten honest citizens and bring violence to the community.


We can do a lot to prevent or reduce gang problems. Most importantly, there is a great deal that you can do to keep your children from joining gangs. 


In Wilson, police have identified over 15 different organized gangs. These gangs are made up of over 300 validated gang members throughout our City. 


We have local sets of National gangs. Locally, they may have their own unique identifiers and customs. However, the base knowledge and core values are built from the national historical gang foundation. 


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