Po­lice ed­u­cate res­i­dents about in­flu­ence of gang ac­tiv­ity from Chat­tanooga

The Catoosa County News - - FRONT PAGE - By Josh O’Bryant

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.

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