Historical Perspective

Gangs are not a new community problem. We have had young people who have displayed antisocial behavioral patterns in our communities for many years. Many of our present day street gang members emulate the "gangster style" images of the "mafia" and other gangster personalities portrayed in the movies of the 50's and the 60's. The current gang phenomenon started becoming community problems in the later part of the 60's. The Hispanics were first on the scene and then the Blacks. The White and Asians gangs have become increasingly active in the past 10 years, not discounting the outlaw motorcycle gangs, which have been active much longer than that. The workshop material will have detailed and specific information regarding the aforementioned gangs.

Definition of gangs:
There is no single accepted definition. State and local Jurisdictions tend to develop their own. However, the following characteristics are frequently consistent; A self-formed association of peers that has, a gang name, recognizable symbols, identifiable leadership, a geographic territory, a regular meeting pattern, and collective actions to carry out illegal activities.

Gang Subculture:
Specific mannerism by members that are governed by value and moral issues. We underestimate how serious gang members are about their life styles. This course will cover aspects of gang subculture, family breakdown and how to better understand why gangs do what they do.


Black Gangs:
Ken Bell is the leading trainer and instructor regarding black gangs nation wide. He has been working with and around black gangs since 1975. He is one of the original gang detectives assigned to work street gangs in Los Angeles for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept. He has been involved with some of the original gang leaders in Los Angeles both as the arresting officer and as a peace summit organizer. His lecture material has historical information and photographs of the gang leaders who started it all. Ken has been the lead investigator in many of the prominent hard core gang case in the Los Angeles area

Latino Gangs:
These gangs are very loyal and traditional in their historic subculture mannerism. They are a real challenge because their subculture is deeply ingrained in many of their families life style. For many, being a gangster is considered the epitome of growing up in their neighborhood. Requires a tremendous amount of intelligence gathering and street level involvement to be successful when dealing with Latino gang members.

Asian Gangs:
One of the fastest growing groups of gang members in the country. Asian gangs have been around for quite awhile, but with the arrival of the south east Asian families within the past twenty-thirty years, their ranks have exploded. The gang subculture life style has allowed many Asian youngsters to quickly assimilate in this culture and be accepted by their peers.

White Gangs:
This group has exploded in the past 5 years. Racial hatred is the motivation and selling drugs have been a major reason for their financial existence. The Nazi Low Riders have become such a force that they are recognized in the California prison system as a major prison gang. The Aryan Brotherhood and Skinhead gangs are two other groups that are very volatile and racial hatred is also their motivation. There are also white youth gangs that exhibit common gang subculture that displays West coast or East coast type mannerisms.

Girl Gangs:
It is one of the most underdeveloped aspects of most investigators. You have to know the girls to really know the gang subculture in your areas. The girls make the whole thing go around. The girlfriends and mothers of the young men are great contacts for information. Female gang members frequently form their own units and commit crimes similar to their male counterpart.

Posse, Crews, and Taggers groups:
Groups that often deny gang involvement, but eventually display the same mannerisms. They often form as campus or neighborhood groups for companionship and social involvement that conflicts often results in gang type demeanor.

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