Police educate residents about influence of gang activity from Chattanooga
Chattanooga police visited Rossville to educate residents on gang activity north of the city.
The Walker County Sheriff’s Department hosted a Gangs Community Education event at New Covenant Baptist Church in Rossville Thursday evening, March 30.
Chattanooga Police Department investigators educated a crowd of around 50 people on gangs in the Chattanooga area, telling them that those gang members could travel into Northwest Georgia.
Investigators Colton Krumrie and Charles Decker spent time detailing what gangs are and how to identify gang members in public.
Photographs and video footage were not allowed to be taken during the meeting due to sensitive material in the presentation.
Residents asked several questions about gang activity in the area, including how to spot it, what gang member signs mean, and how to identify it in schools.
One of the largest well known gangs in Chattanooga are the Gangster Disciples. Other gangs in the Chattanooga area include varying sets extended from the Crips and the Bloods, with sets that vary form one another. Those sets will feud with other sets at a given time, investigators said.
The investigators informed those in attendance on why someone would join a gang.
Some reasons include protection from bullies in schools and neighborhoods, self-esteem issues, issues at home (single parent families), peer pressure, being born into the gang life, garnering respect from peers, media influences like movies, music and social media.
Social media has played a larger role in gang activity as gangs will often recruit members or brag about what they do online.
There are even 17-year-old gang leaders, Krumrie said. Some join gangs as early as age 12. There are basically only two ways out of a gang: prison or death.
Krumrie said there is an uptick in meth and heroine sales among some of the gangs in Chattanooga.
Parents and grandparents are encouraged to be aware of what their children are doing, posting online, on their school folders, just to name a few ways to deter a child from joining a gang.