To prevent gangs from establishing themselves in Logan, we have the resources of the department to combat the problem with one detective assigned full time to gang-related crimes and intelligence gathering. Even with our zero tolerance attitudes toward criminal behavior, we still partner with numerous other agencies to ensure youth receive opportunity to become a positive, contributing citizen to the City of Logan. First District Juvenile Court, Youth Corrections, Cache County Attorney's Office and Division of Family Services are just some of our partners supporting us.
We ask for support from the community to take the appropriate action in parenting, reporting crime, supporting positive community events/activities, and mentoring the young people into a more positive future. Gang awareness presentations are available to the public, religious organizations, schools, and other groups. To request a presentation or if you have any information concerning gang-related behavior or crime, please contact the School Resource Sergeant at (435) 716-9361.
If a crime is in progress, please call 911 to report it.
The Logan Gang Unit works to minimize gang-related crimes in the city by utilizing the following methods:
Community education and awareness presentations are integral to the success of the Gang Unit. Gang Unit officers are active in providing these to many different groups in the area. Presentations are tailored to fit adult groups and youth groups in order to most effectively prevent the growth of gangs. The Gang Unit actively seeks involvement with agencies that assist with prevention in order to promote a community-based solution.
Gang Unit personnel seek to assist gang-involved members and their families when possible. Gang members can be assisted with tattoo removal and with help in joining positive programs upon showing a commitment to remove themselves from gang affiliation.
The identification of street gangs and members is important in order to combat gang activities. Information related to gangs is shared between local and statewide law enforcement agencies and other government agencies which deal with gang members.
Gang Unit Personnel are active in sending a message of zero tolerance to gangs. Officers will work to prevent gang problems at identified areas or at community events in which gang related activity is reasonably expected to occur.
Gang Membership Indicators
When a child decides to get involved in a gang, his/her behavior will change. Parents and other adults will notice these changes. Particular things to look for include:
Clothing: all one color, altered in some way with writing or stitching, dramatic changes in style
Tattoos or Graffiti: on school notebooks and assignments, on a child's hands and arms and clothes, in a child's room. Tattoos may be temporary (pen) or permanent, and will usually contain information about the gang
Hand signs/Posturing: obvious contortions of the hands (NOT American Sign Language!), stance may become aggressive or defensive
Changes in attitude: new aggressiveness and defiance, especially towards any adult in a position of authority
Drop in school performance or attendance: grades may drop, student may start sluffing classes or entire days of school
Unexplained amounts of money: may be coming from illegal activities
Information for the Community
Gang activity is a serious and complex subject. Causes, strategies and solutions for this societal aberration are debated widely throughout the country, with no clear solution in sight. Why is this subject so controversial? After all, youth gangs are nothing new; they were documented in our country's earliest days. Why are parents, teachers, police officers, and others now so concerned? The answer lies in this simple equation:
GANGS = VIOLENCE
Although today's gang members make up less than one percent of the country's population, they are responsible for a disproportionate amount of violent crimes committed; crimes such as murder, narcotic sales, robberies and drive-by shootings. These crimes are not only directed at rival gangs, but also at the general public. Sadly, many victims are innocent bystanders. In the past 10 years, juvenile arrests for weapons charges have increased 103 percent. The number of juveniles arrested for murder has tripled since 1984. Thirty years ago, gang activity was reported in only 23 U.S. cities. Today, gangs have been identified throughout the United States, from small rural hamlets to large urban areas. (Statistics from U.S. Dept. of Justice) Today's gang members occupy all social, economic and ethnic levels in the community.
WHY ARE GANGS SPREADING SO RAPIDLY?
MIGRATION: In a simple analogy, think of a gang member as a cancer cell. A gang member may move to another state, and infect new members. As more people are infected and join the gang, the progression grows from a single cell to a tumor. The tumor eventually infects the entire body. (The gang situation in Southern California is a good example of this process.) Ironically, some gangs have spread with the unwitting aid of concerned parents, who move to "non-gang" areas to remove their children from what they perceive as a dangerous neighborhood. The children bring the gang lifestyle with them, and "infect" new members, which continues the deadly cycle.
PROFIT: Many gangs are involved in illegal criminal enterprises. Profits can be considerable, and are a powerful incentive to recruit new members. In a twisted way, gang criminal enterprises mimic the "American Dream" of building and running a successful business. Gang crimes commonly seen include sales and distribution of narcotics, assaults and drive-by shootings, burglaries and other property crimes, extortion, and auto theft.
Who joins gangs?
Gangs are not restricted to one ethnic or socioeconomic group. They cross neighborhood boundaries, and exist in all areas of the state. Both boys and girls get involved in gangs. Potential gang recruits may suffer from a poor self-image or low self-esteem, and may feel isolated from their peers. While some kids may be actively recruited, some join the gang by default--they are never discouraged from getting involved in the lifestyle. Many gang members have infrequent contact with positive adults; the gang begins to replace their families.
Why do kids join gangs?
Kids join gangs for many reasons, and the circumstances differ with each individual member. Common reasons for a child to join a gang include: Low self-esteem, Family Issues, Peer Pressure, Respect/Recognition, Excitement, Protection / Fear, Family Involvement, No Discouragement to Join
There is no one thing that will push a child to join a gang, and s/he will not become a hard-core gang member overnight. Many times, a child joins a gang because s/he has a great need to feel important, and welcome in a group. If that need is not met in a positive fashion, the child will go looking for reinforcement from any group.
What are the levels of membership?
It takes a while for a child to be accepted by a gang. They must prove their loyalty to the group through certain actions.
Fantasy/At-risk Member (30%)
This is a child who is fascinated and obsessed with the gang lifestyle. S/he is aware of media images of gangs, and may imitate the behavior s/he sees on the movie screen, or hears in the music s/he listens to. The gang attracts his/her attention, but is not a major part of his/her life.
Associate Member (40%)
This is a child who has gained knowledge about a particular gang, and is attempting to prove him/herself to that gang. He/she will wear the gang's colors, hang out with members on a regular basis, and may begin to draw the gang's graffiti on his/her school notebooks. The child will begin to have difficulties at home and in school, and will be hanging out regularly with gang members. At this stage, the child is willing to do anything to get into the gang, and therefore may be very dangerous.
Member/Hardcore Member (30%)
When a kid has proven his/her loyalty to the gang, s/he is initiated into the gang, often by being "jumped in". This usually consists of being beaten by the other members for a certain period of time. The hardcore member may readily admit, and be proud of his/her membership. S/he may tattoo the gang name or symbol on his/her body, and will most likely have committed some sort of gang crime. S/he may also have spent time in jail. When kids get to this stage, they are usually not involved with school, and have little to no contact with their real family. Hardcore members call the shots in the gang - they are "in charge."
Most gangs claim a specific geographic area, and will identify this area with scrawled graffiti. Graffiti serves several purposes - it lays claim to an area, may serve as a warning or threat to other gangs, and is used as a means of communication, e.g. a "street newspaper". Graffiti is a fascinating and ever-changing phenomenon. When graffiti is examined closely, one may often discover the nicknames of the gang's members, whom they dislike, and sometimes the name of the founder. Graffiti is also used to cross-out graffiti written by other gangs, in their own and other gang's territories, which is considered both an insult and a challenge. In fact, the crossing-out of rival gang graffiti often leads to retaliation.
"Tagger" graffiti differs from traditional gang graffiti. Taggers are youthful artists who "decorate" walls, fences and vehicles with their designs as a means to receive personal recognition. Many times, their art (for this is how they view it) is elaborate and stylized, and they are known for their colorful murals. However, when taggers put their "tags" (graffiti) in traditional gang territory, it can result in acts of retaliatory violence. Because of this, some taggers now carry guns to defend their creations.
If you see Graffiti, please call your local law enforcement agency to report it.
What will a community see?
Communities, like individuals, develop gangs over a period of time, in the following way:
Graffiti will begin to appear, but not on a regular basis. The gang is mostly a social group, made up of kids who imitate "real" gang behavior. There will be some form of outside influence on local youth.
Local youth learn about the gang lifestyle. Graffiti begins to appear regularly. The groups will become more anti-social, and may begin to confront each other. Members may begin to carry weapons, and to have increased contact with law enforcement.'
Local kids take on leadership roles in the gang. Their relationship with the gang supersedes all others, including with their families. Gangs will confront each other, and innocent citizens may become victims of gang violence. Residents are definitely at risk for victimization. Some members will have spent time in jail for crimes.
Info for Educators
Develop an Anti-Gang Environment in Your Classroom and School.
If your school does not have a policy regarding gang activity or dress, determine if current school policy will sufficiently cover gang incidents. If not, assist in getting your school policy updated and parents informed. Enforce school policies consistently and fairly, and make sure that all students understand them.
Obtain the Latest Information on Gang Awareness
Gangs are constantly changing. Obtain regular updates from your local law enforcement agency on the type of gang activity in your area. Learn the newest gangs in the area, their hangouts, graffiti, clothing trends, activities, rivals, etc.
Share Gang Information with Local Law Enforcement.
Contact your local police department and request that they assign an officer to your school to act as a liaison between the school and the police department. (In many areas, school resource officers are assigned full-time in a school and are available to assist surrounding schools. Find out who that person is.) Meet with the officer on a regular basis and share your concerns.
Make Frequent Contact with Parents of High-Risk Students.
Parents are often the last to know about their child's gang involvement. If you notice sudden changes in attitude, grades, and dress of a student, alert their parents. Never assume the parent already knows and is doing nothing about it.
Assign Mentors to Students Who Are Having Difficulty in School.
Many youths are drawn to gangs because it provides them with a support structure and feeling of belonging. Students who are struggling in school need to feel that they are successful at something even if it is committing crime. A mentor can give a student a feeling of importance--that someone cares about them.
Learn About Community Resources Available in the Area For Students.
Teachers can often steer their students toward positive activities that can reduce their likelihood of becoming gang-involved. There are also many community resources available for families that are struggling with gang members in their family.
Teach Kids Anti-Violence and Problem Solving Skills.
Many students will turn to gangs to solve problems for them or to provide protection. Teaching your students problem solving skills and behavioral skills training can reduce the number of violent incidents on campus. Students will also feel more in control and confident of their abilities to "stand alone." The need for a gang is reduced.
Do Not Glorify Gang Activity, But Do Not Ignore It Either.
Students will often discuss recent gang activity among themselves and may glorify the gang members that are involved. While such discussions should be discouraged it is helpful for youth to discuss the activity with the teacher serving as a facilitator so that the issue can be dealt with in a realistic manner and used as a learning experience for students.
Jovenes Y Las Pandillas: Una Guia Para Los Padres
¿Qué es una pandilla?
Una pandilla es un grupo de por lo menos 3 personas o más que tiene un nombre, signo, símbolo de identificacion en comun y participan en actividades criminales. Las personas que se unen a las pandillas son de cualquier barrio, raza, religion, cultura, edad ya sean ricos o pobres. Muchos de los pandilleros ya no asisten a la escuela, pero hay muchos que tienen muy buenos notas. Lo mas importante para identificar a un grupo como pandilla es el comportamiento de los miembros. Los grupos que cometen delitos son pandillas. Su manera de vestir o de cortarse su pelo no importa.
¿Como puedo discernir?
La policia usa un criterio específico para identificar a los pandilleros:
La persona admite que el/ella es pandillero.
La persona tiene tatuajes, lleva ropa, o usa signos de mano que solo usan los miembros de pandillas especifícas para identificarse.
La persona ha side arrestada mientras este cometiendo delitos con pandilleros
Hay información incluyendo fotografías, tarjetas de negocios, y hasta grafiti, que
demuestra que la persona es pandillero o anda con una pandilla.
Los padres deben observar si hay cambios drásticos en el comportamiento de su hijo/hija, incluyendo el asociarse con un nuevo grupo de amigos, hablar de una manera distinta, desear mantenerse solo/sola, obtener cosas nuevas sin el conocimiento de los padres, declarar que es pandillero/pandillera, o vestirse como pandillero/pandillera.
No todos los que llevan ropa de los "RAIDERS" son pandilleros. Es verdad que algunas pandillas usen ropa de equipos deportivos profesionales o de las universidades solamente porque esta en moda. Los padres deben buscar ropa que ha sida cambiada, con mas letras, palabras, dichos, numeros, o símbolos. Las gorras pueden ser cambiadas, o los nombres o dichos de las pandillas pueden ser escritas adentro o debajo de la gorra/cachucha. Los padres no deben permitir que sus hijos usen ropa que glorifique la violencia o el uso de las drogas (mire cuidadosamente las camisas y las gorras). Tampoco deben usar sus pantalones para que se vea su ropa interior. Las marcas populares incluyende pantalones "Dickey" y "Ben Davis". Todos los colores de las bandanas son para identificar a la pandilla y pueden poner en peligro a su hijo/hija. Los jovenes no deben vestirse de un solo color todos los dias. Los colores de pandillas en esta área incluyen azul, blanco, rojo, verde, morado y cáfe. Los pandilleros tambien dibujan grafiti en la casa, en sus cuadernos, sus tareas de escuela, y sobre paredes.
¿Qué puedo hacer?
Si usted piensa que su hijo es pandillero/pandillera, no niege sus sospecha. Tal vez sus sentimientos son correctos. Usted ha conocido a su hijo por mas tiempo que cualquier otra persona. Cuando una persona se une a una pandilla, causa muchos problemas entre la familia. No trate de resolver el problema por usted mismo. Hay muchas agencías, grupos de apoyo, y programas de la escuela, que pueden trabajar con su hijo y su familia, para proveer apoyo, ámino, y la intervencion de pandillas. Usted puede llama al "Logan-Cache Gang Project" para recibir información de estos que le pueden ayudar. No esta solo.
My gang will protect me, and I will feel safe.
Wrong! While you may believe that joining a gang will protect you from bullies or other gang members, being in a gang greatly increases your chances to be a target for rival gang members. You are far more likely to be injured or killed if you are in a gang. Many former gang members report that they had to change their lives dramatically as a gang member. They could no longer wear clothing they used to wear. They got into fights while attending school with rival gang members, and ended up dropping out of school. They felt unsafe going out of their neighborhoods, and they couldn't ever be sure where they might be confronted by rivals. Even if they got out of gangs, their rivals didn't forget them. They still had many enemies who might hurt or kill them.
Other people will respect me more if I am in a gang.
Wrong! Respect in many gangs really means fear. If you join a gang, you will constantly have to commit crimes in order to keep other gang members afraid of you. At any age, respect is something you can earn by getting an education and accomplishing goals in your life. Respect in the gang culture will go away the first time you fail to hurt someone who insults you or puts you down. That kind of respect isn't real, and it doesn't last.
Joining a gang means I'll have lots of friends.
You will have friends, but you'll also make lots of enemies--the members of rival gangs. Also, your friends who haven't joined the gang may stop wanting to be around you. Your gang may not approve if you have friends or date people outside the gang. They may question and test your loyalty, and insist that you hang out only with them.
My gang will be just like a family.
Wrong! Real families don't force people to commit crimes to get respect and love. Real families accept you and love you for who and what you are. Even if your family is having problems, being in a gang will not solve them--it will only make things worse. If you join a gang, your family members may become targets for rival gangs. Joining a gang will only increase the number of fights you have with your parents. You will eventually get into trouble with the law, and your parents and family members will be hurt and disappointed. You will set a bad example for your brothers and sisters. You will not find the kind of love you're looking for from a gang.
I'll make lots of money if I'm in a gang.
Most gang members make very little money being part of a gang. Those who do, usually end up doing time. Plus, if you're in a gang, it's far more likely that you'll drop out of school because of problems with rival gang members. Getting your education is the key to making money--not joining a gang.
I can never get out of my gang.
Wrong! Gang members decide to leave the gang lifestyle every day in cities around the U.S. It is a myth that the only way to leave a gang is by dying. Most gang members who leave are able to live normal lives, going to school and working just like everyone else. However, in some cases, getting out of a gang isn't easy, and you may have to leave your home, school or community in order to be safe. It IS easier to get into a gang than to get out of one, but you can choose to leave the gang life today. There are many more examples of people who have successfully walked away from gangs. The best option of all, however, is to stay out of gangs in the first place.
Walk Away From Gangs
For most gang members, the gang they belong to meets some kind of need in their life: for safety, love, excitement or money. When a gang member learns that he or she can meet these needs in other ways, the gang may lose its appeal, and this person may decide to walk away from the gang life. However, being a gang member is far more dangerous than the typical dangers faced by most of today's teenagers. For that reason, the issue for many gang members is not if they will decide to stop being a gang member. The issue is whether they will live long enough to make that decision.
Make a plan for getting out:
Never tell the gang that you plan to leave. You may be beaten or even killed.
Begin spending your time doing other things. Instead of spending time hanging out with your gang friends, find something else to do during that time. Look around. There are possibilities everywhere: sports, recreation centers, Boys and Girls Clubs, arts programs, drama, school activities, and even spending time with your family.
Try to stop looking like a gangster. For many gang members, dressing down makes them feel safe because other people are afraid of the way they look. As you begin to believe in yourself, you will find that you don't need to make other people feel afraid in order to feel good about yourself. Stop wearing the clothes that you think have a gang meaning.
Find other things to say, other things to do, and other people to do them with. (HINT: This is much easier if you stop dressing like a gang member first.) Stop hanging out with gang members, talking like a gang member, and acting like a gang member.
Get good at making excuses. Your parents can probably help you with this, but if not, try asking a teacher for help or maybe just an older friend. Some former gang members have said that when they started trying to leave the gang, they stopped taking phone calls from their gang friends, or had their family members tell friends from the gang that they were busy or involved in some other activity.
Find people who will support you and believe in you.
Getting out of a gang isn't easy, but it can be done. Young people across America make the decision to have a better life every day. Find people, especially adults, who think that you are special and will keep telling you that. In your mind, think of a supportive adult wherever you go (school, neighborhood, rec center) that you can touch base with if you have a problem or need to talk. Then use these people to help support you as you change with good advice and assistance. Finally, begin believing in your power to change. Gangs are a dead-end street. No matter who you are, what you have done, or where you live, you deserve better.
Information reprinted with permission of the Salt Lake Area Gang Project.
What Can You Do?
Gangs thrive on ignorance and apathy. Keeping them out of a community takes cooperation and a willingness to say, "This will not happen here."
Community Awareness...all members of the community should be educated and aware of what gang activity looks like, and what to do if they witness it. Local law enforcement agencies can provide excellent workshops for a variety of groups.
Community Action...businesses, schools, government, and citizens need to pool their energy and resources to meet the community's needs. Working together, the problem will seem less intimidating.
Supervised Activities...give kids a place to go after school. Staff activities with responsible adults who work with kids on homework, in games, in arts and crafts, etc. Children tend to get into much less trouble when there are adults around and watching.
Resistance Skills Training...teach children the skills they need to resist negative influences in their lives. DARE, GREAT, and other structured programs are a good step in this direction. Children also need to be taught how to make good decisions, and to take responsibility for their behavior.
Community Service Programs...get kids involved in giving back to the community. If they are responsible for cleaning things up, they will be less likely to mess them up later. Teach children the value of providing service to others, and model your commitment to the neighborhood whenever they are present.
Graffiti Removal Program...work with local agencies to develop a consistent approach to graffiti. If it is removed promptly, that sends a message of "zero tolerance," and gangs will know they are not welcome.
What Can Parents Do?
Prevention begins at home. If you believe your child is involved with or interested in a gang, here are some strategies you can use:
Educate yourself about gang behavior. Go to the library; research gangs on the Internet; learn about the violent lyrics in gangster rap music and learn about popular films about the gang lifestyle.
Talk to your child, and take the time to listen to what your child is telling you. Encourage open communication, and don't be embarrassed to discuss gangs, crime, drugs, sex, and peer pressure.
Keep track of whom your child's friends are. Discourage your child from hanging around with gang members.
Keep your child busy - occupy their free time with constructive activities. Get them involved with athletics, volunteerism, or other wholesome activities of interest to him/her. Help your child develop a sense of belonging, and be involved in activities together.
Monitor the clothes your child wears, and the music that he/she's listening to. Don't allow them to purchase gangster rap music, and do not allow them to dress in gangster-style clothing, since this may place them in danger of being mistaken for a gang member.
Become involved in your child's education. Let your local schools know about any concerns you might have.
Remove any gang graffiti on your your property. Get involved in crime prevention in your neighborhood. Contact your local police department and county sheriff's department for information about community mobilization and neighborhood watch. Get to know your neighbors, and strive to be observant. Call 911 on any criminal or suspicious activity you see.
Graffiti En Espanol
¿Qué es? Las pintadas de graffiti, conocias como "el periódico de la calle", son usadas por las pandillas para reclamar territorio, para hacer amenazas y/o desafiar a otras pandillas rivales. Cuando miembros de una pandilla pintan graffiti en un vecindario, ellos están reclamando ese vecindario como propio. Los pandillerso muchas veces utilizan el graffiti para mostrar lealtad a su pandilla y también para realzar la reputación de la banda.
¿Quién lo hace? El graffiti es pintado tanto por integrantes de pandillas como por otros llamados "taggers" (pronuncie "táguers"). Lo que diferencia a estos ultimos de los pandilleros, es el objetivo principal de sus actividades. Por lo general, el graffiti es una parte muy pequeña de las actividades en que participan los pantilleros y es utilizado con propósitos previamente establecidos. Los taggers generalmente pertenecen a pequeños grupos organizados, cuyo objetivo principal es crear el llamado "arte de graffiti". Si bien muchas veces los taggers pintan graffiti como una forma de expresar sus ideas, el pintar graffiti es un crimen. Un crimen que cuesta millones de dólares.
¿Dónde? Se ha pintado graffiti en casi cada superficie imaginable. Los pandilleros utilizan pintura en aerosol, marcadores de punta ancha, y áun utilizan objetos punzantes para escribir sobre vidrio. Usualmente, puede ser cubierto con pintura en el área afectada. En el caso de paredes porosas tales como bloques de cemento o ladrillos, se remueve con el empleo de intensas descargas de agua a presión. Usted puede recibir información sobre programas de remoción de graffiti en su área, llamando a la unidad policial más prózima a su domicilio.
¿Cómo se lee? El graffiti de las pandillas incluye usualmente varios elementos comunes:
Nombres: Los nombres de las pandillas son habitualmente abreviados en dos o tres letras, pero también pueden incluir el tipo de pandilla escrito completo (Crip, Blood, etc.) como así también sus consignas (Brown Pride, etc.)
Apodos: Esos son los sobrenombres de los miembros de la pandilla, y pueden incluir nombres tales como Smiley, Goofy, Casper, Shy-Dog, e otros similares. Muchas veces esos nombres pueden encontrarse escritos agrupados verticalmente, como indicación de la jerarquía de cada uno en la pandilla.
Territorio: Es el área que la pandilla reclama como propia. Generalmente, puede tratarse de un sector drieccional como "East Side (E/S) o West Side (W/S)", ya sea que corresponda al lado Este o al Oeste, como así también nombre de calles (7 St.), y nombres de cuidades.
Amenazas y Desafíos: Muchas veces las pintadas de graffiti están dedicadas a amenazar y/o desafiar a pandillas rivales. Un pandillero puede tachar graffiti de otras bandas, o escribir "187" (homocidio) junto a la pintada. Algunas veces los pandilleros escribirán "killer" (asesino) junto con el nombre de un pandillero rival, o abreviarlo "K" o "Killa".