Identifying Gang Involvement
Those scratches on the inside of your child’s belt may be more than just wear and tear, they could be a signal that your child is a member of a street gang, law enforcement officials said.
Police officials last week offered the following “insider’s view” of methods used by street gangs to identify allegiance of gang members.
Seeking new ways to outwit police and parents, street gangs have developed a new code for use in identifying members, police officials said. “You have to look at colors your son doesn’t want to wear,” officials said. “If you come home with a red shirt and your son tells you, ‘I can’t wear that’, it’s time to ask yourself why.”
Police officials said parents should check their children’s schoolbooks each day. “If they’re in school for six hours each day, they should have six hours of schoolwork,” they said.
“Unfortunately, too many parents aren’t aware of their child’s gang activity until they get a call that their son or daughter has been arrested for a crime linked to gang membership,” police sources said. “Ask any Youth Officer at a police precinct to tell you how often that happens.”
Police said parents can help keep teens from being drawn into gangs by “being involved in their school work, school and social activities” and “just about every other aspect of their lives”.
Kids whose parents know their friends, their schedules, how they’re doing in school and “how they’re doing in general” are less likely to “even think about joining a street gang”, police said.
Parents and concerned adults interested in learning about street gangs are urged to call the Community Affairs Officer at their local police precinct.