New report says Florida has 1,100 gangs, nearly 50,000 members

Kevin P. Connolly (Orlando Sentinel)
February 24, 2010

A report released today is being hailed as offering the first accurate count of Florida’s gang population.

The state has 1,100 gangs and nearly 49,000 “gang members, blankociates and gang-related persons throughout the state,” a news release says.

The statistic was released by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum and members of the Coordinating Council on Gang Reduction in their first report about gang-reduction strategies.

The population estimate is considered a significant element of the report because it provides “reliable statistics on gangs and gang members” and gives “an accurate baseline with which to measure progress” to reduce the problem, the statement said.

The problem is spread across the state, Florida Attorney General McCollum said in a statement.

“These results are truly significant because for the first time, we know how many gangs are in each area of our state,” McCollum’s statement said. “Florida’s gang problems are not isolated to certain locations – every single part of our state is affected, and it will take a statewide approach to see relief.”

A news release about the gang crackdown said law enforcers are making progress.

It noted a recent operation in Orlando that ended in the arrest of 12 members of the Latin Kings gang.

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