Skip to comments.Police say gang presence in Western Virginia is serious matter
Posted on 05/22/2012 10:21:18 AM PDT by Perseverando
In some areas, half of the violent crimes are linked to gangs, according to the attorney general's office.
RADFORD -- Gangs are a growing issue in Virginia that can only be tackled with awareness and information.
That was the sentiment imparted Wednesday during an all-day gang training session held at Radford University. The training, first in a series of anti-gang sessions sponsored by the office of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, were open to law enforcement and the public.
Some 50 law enforcement employees sat in McGuffey Hall to learn how gangs operate and about their presence in various parts of Virginia.
According to Jim Hope with the Albemarle Police Department, a roadblock to imparting information throughout the state is the impression that many residents have that most Virginia gang members are pretenders. Obviously, areas such as Southwest Virginia and Charlottesville are no South Central Los Angeles, he said, but the gang presence in Western Virginia should be taken seriously.
"This is not a black thing, it's not a white thing, it's not a Hispanic thing -- it's a gang thing. We have to look at it that way," Hope said. "Every time we go to a community, it feels like we have to prove to them there are gangs in the area."
He pulled investigative information on gang presence from all major areas of the state. Southwest Virginia had the smallest amount of gang activity, according to the information.
In his presentation, Hope said that the Bloods street gang is the most dominant and problematic in Southwest Virginia, comprising about four groups of black males and females ages 18 to 25. The Crips also have a Southwest Virginia presence, consisting of black and white members, male and female, with ages ranging mainly from 19 to 24.
The Pagans motorcycle gang is also present in the area, Hope said, with white members usually 28 or older.
Other gangs, such as the Gangster Disciples and MS-13, also have a small presence, he said.
According to Cuccinelli's office, the idea of this training isn't to scare the public but to empower residents and law enforcement officials through information.
"Combating gangs is the paramount law enforcement issue in Virginia," said Cuccinelli spokeswoman Caroline Gibson. "In many jurisdictions, nearly half of all violent crimes can be linked back to gangs."
The host locations for the series were not chosen based on gang activity; they just serve as central locations to various parts of the state, she said.
Five presentations were planned throughout the state, with about 600 people registered thus far, Gibson said. A large part of the initiative is to curb the gangs' effort to recruit youth.
On Wednesday, informational sessions were presented on the way gangs recruit young people, signs of gang activity, human trafficking, gang trends and Virginia gang law.
The next informational session takes place in Salem on May 24 at Roanoke College, followed by dates in Newport News, Weyers Cave and Alexandria.
I bet he wouldn't be saying that if they were dealing with mostly white gangs.
To those at CNN and MSNBC this took place in the state of Virginia and NOT West Virginia....just sayin!
More of the Amish problem.
According to Jim Hope with the Albemarle Police Department... "This is not a black thing, it's not a white thing, it's not a Hispanic thing -- it's a gang thing. We have to look at it that way,"It's really a "too many gang members not yet taking a dirt nap" thing.
I don’t have a problem with the Pagans. I’ve met a few of them and they seem okay although I don’t know the inner workings of the club.
MS-13 is BAD NEWS. About 10 years ago, these animals left a torso less then a mile from one of my deer stands.
I wonder if this might be related. No significant info from the medai. Seems to be a little too much silence from the MSM.
Fighting shuts down Drew Expo early (Roanoke, VA) - http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2886682/posts
“This is not a black thing, it’s not a white thing, it’s not a Hispanic thing — it’s a gang thing. We have to look at it that way,” Hope said.”
Or else be called a racist, yet, it isn’t the white population gangbanging.
Kill em all and let God sort them out.
Seriously, make gang affiliation illegal under RICO. Outlaw gangs. I don’t know if we have room to warehouse them in prisons but you can start by cutting off welfare aid to any parent who’s minor child is in a gang.
If you are in a gang you have committed a crime by being in one, so that is due cause for reasonable search and seizure on person, in their cars, in their houses. Confiscate everything and keep stirring them up.
Hate to bust your bubble, but I’d guess that there are likely more Pagan’s (read white biker gang) gang members in that part of VA than the other gangs combined. Biker gangs tend to run a lot of dope and have a very hierarchical structure that serves to protect the members pretty well. They’re long established and know the system and how to work around it. Most of these gangbanger inner city thugs are dumb and get busted easily by confidential informants with wires, which is why you see more of their mugshots in the news.