The Arlington Police Department created the Gang Unit in 1992 as a response to an increase in gang-related crime.The Gang Unit investigates gang-related crime, provides street level gang enforcement, gathers gang intelligence and performs gang awareness presentations to the community.Gang investigations and enforcement are handled by two units within the Criminal Investigations Section. The Gang Unit has primary responsibility for the enforcement component. This unit consists of one sergeant and eight detectives. Gang related investigations are handled by the Robbery/Gang Investigations Unit. This unit consists of one sergeant and nine detectives.
The Gang Unit has identified Asian, African-American, Hispanic, White, Motorcycle and Prison gangs in the city of Arlington.The Gang Unit has documented gang members involved in several types of criminal activity. These crimes include Homicide, Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Burglary, Assault, Theft and the distribution of Narcotics.A Criminal Street Gang means three or more persons having a common identifying sign or symbol or an identifiable leadership who continuously or regularly associate in the commission of criminal activities.
Awareness of gang characteristics is a critical tool for early intervention. If the warning signs are identified early, then the youth can be directed away from gang activity. **While each of these indicators, viewed separately, are not signs of gang involvement, viewed together they may indicate gang involvement.
- Associating with a new set of friends while ignoring old friends or being vague about the identities and the activities of the new friends.
- Change of hair style and/or clothing or associating with other youths who have same hair style and/or same clothing.
- Use of street language, hand signs or unusual nick-names.
- Unexplained income or possessions.
- Indications of drug, alcohol or inhalant abuse.
- Discipline issues at home or in school.
- Frequent fighting and/or injuries from participating in fights.
- Graffiti on personal items.
Meet your children’s friends – Make it a point to meet each friend, learn where they live and who their parents are, then meet those parents.Establish rules for your children – Set limits and be consistent in enforcing those rules. Be firm but fair when disciplining, and show your children that you care about them and are concerned for their future.Speak to teachers and school counselors – Meet and discuss your child with their teachers, learn what areas you can help the child achieve and be involved in the quality of education your child receives. Attend the child’s school functions, show them school is important.When your child is going out – Know where your child is going, who he/she is going with and how he/she will get there. Set a reasonable time for the child to return home, and enforce that time.Encourage your child to participate in sports or other activities – Children need to belong and want to be part of something, so let them belong to scouts, or a sports team. These activities build self-esteem and give the child a feeling that he/she belongs to something worthwhile.
Arlington ISD www.aisd.net
Safe City Commission www.safecitycommission.org
Boys & Girls Club of Arlington www.bgcarltx.org
Sante Fe Adolescent Services www.santafeyouth.org
The Parenting Center www.theparentingcenter.org