Gang Training Program
The idea is to make sure the right people get arrested. The Alachua County Sheriff's deputies taught other law enforcement agencies across the state how to identify gang members. At the Gang Training Program, officers learned the right way to spot and document people in gangs. Some things they were taught to look out for are people who show gang signs, have tatoos, and wear colors associated with gangs. Deputies say the extra training was needed because often times they've dismissed members as "wanna-bes."
"That's very dangerous because they may feel like they need to elevate their criminal activity or elevate what is they are going to do to prove they are in a gang, whether that means going out and committing a crime, a violent act against a law enforcement officer," Lieutenant Todd Kelly (Alachua County Sheriff's Office) said.
Deputies say kids as young as eight-years-old get involved in gangs. Some of the reasons are because of the atmosphere of money, cars, and women.
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