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Cyberspace enlisted in war on area gangs, Website lets citizens provide anonymous tips.

Cyberspace enlisted in war on area gangs

Website lets citizens provide anonymous tips


Sept. 24, 2010, 7:18AM

StopHoustonGangs.Org is intended to generate tips on gang crimes and activity, as well as give local parents and their children useful information about the hazards of gang life and tips for identifying members, prosecutors and police said.

"You know, the gangs say they own the night. Well, this website shines the light of day on those thugs,“ said Harris County District Attorney Patricia Lykos. "Because, if we're going to make Texas and Harris County safer, it's not just law enforcement, it's the entire community that must be involved. And it's parents and educators who can learn from this website."

The site includes photos of wanted gang members, a listing of some of the gangs active in Harris County, along with pictures of tattoos, hand signs and logos used by various gangs.

Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland, who noted that gang crime in the city is down by 4 percent, said the site is a tool to assist officers who long have tracked violent gang members.

"This website is a proactive measure. We are not going to wait around and see gang crimes rise again and get out of control, like in some others parts of the United States,“ McClelland said.

'We're on you'

Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia said his gang suppression unit has documented 2,500 gang members in unincorporated areas of the county, a good portion of the estimated 10,000 members of 200 Houston-area gangs.

"It's been said too often that gangs have no boundaries, nor should law enforcement,“ Garcia said. "So, having this collaborative law enforcement united front ... is an indication to the thugs out there that we're on you, we're going to catch you, you're going to go to my overcrowded jail, and we're all going to be happy about it."

He said 450 adults and 34 juveniles in the last year have been charged through the department's gang unit.

The site is maintained by the Houston FBI office, and information received will be shared with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service, as well as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other agencies. ..

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