Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Handwriting on the Wall

Today's Coeur d'Alene Press ran an article headlined Graffiti crime on rise. It was written by staff writer Brian Walker. The thrust of the article was an almost breathless effort to associate the graffiti with one or more easily identifiable gangs.

Probably a better and more productive approach would be to research the sociology of gangs and then report that. Some Idahoans' understanding of gangs may be based on television portrayals of southern California's ethnic gangs. While the gangs of East Los Angeles, South Central LA, and Compton still exist, some in roughly the stereotypical form, many of the east coast and California gangs have exported their criminal enterprises to other parts of the United States. They exist in prisons as well as in communities. It is a serious error to presume that all gangsters wear colors, throw signs, and tag dumpsters while engaging in their criminal enterprises.

According to the 2005 National Gang Threat Assessment prepared by the National Alliance of Gang Investigator Associations funded by the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance:
Once found principally in large cities, violent street gangs affect public safety, community image, and quality of life in communities of all sizes in urban, suburban, and rural areas. No region of the United States is untouched by gangs. Gangs affect society at all levels, causing heightened fears for safety, violence, and economic costs.
This study gives an excellent overview of the breadth of gang activity.

Also see the websites of the National Gang Crime Research Center, the California Gang Investigator's Association, and the East Coast Gang Investigator's Association.

Our objective ought to be to learn more about gang behaviors. By better understanding how to recognize behaviors, citizens can more effectively work with law enforcement, educators, and social services to inhibit gang activity in our communities.


Anonymous stebbijo said...

One wonders if the citizen can really do anything about anything at all - especially when our officers have a mentality of causing PTSD rather than serving/protecting citizens? The gang mentality is an issue in the professional sector as well and maybe more so in Idaho.

1:34 PM, December 29, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's organized crime in CdA but not necessarily in the streets painting graffiti. It lives in city hall and cares nothing about gangland symbols defining areas of influence. They have control of the money and how it is spent and that's all they need. These people need to be stopped ASAP.

9:39 PM, December 29, 2007  

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