Cyberspace enlisted in war on area gangs
JAMES PINKERTON (HOUSTON CHRONICLE) | September 24, 2010
The fight against Houston-area gang members moved into cyberspace Thursday, as 15 law enforcement agencies fired up a website to allow citizens to provide anonymous information on gang members.
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.
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