Officers receive Gang Intelligence Training - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Officers receive Gang Intelligence Training

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February 22, 2008

Albany - It's no secret, gangs are a problem here in Albany. That's why this week, law enforcement officers have received training from an Arlington, Virginia Gang Intelligence unit with national exposure to gangs.

Officers are being taught signs to be on the look out for, and how to collect evidence to prosecute those involved in gang activity.

As a Patrolman in Albany, officer Rico Potts was well aware of the gang problem here, he just didn't realize how big of a problem it was. "We all knew they were here," he said, "but after being able to read the graffiti and being able to see what's going on, we found out we have a bigger problem than what we thought."

He says training about the different types of gangs that may be in Albany was an eye-opener. And he'll have his eyes open to the signs. "The signs are everywhere and I think the biggest thing is to learn the signs," said Potts, "read the signs, know what the signs are so that we can try to head the problem off before it gets bigger than what it already is."

Unfortunately gang activity has increased recently. Chief James Younger said, "Gang activity has been much higher in the past and then there was a wane and I think right now we are seeing more gang activity. I also think that more people are becoming aware of signs of gang activity."

And it's that awareness Chief Younger hopes will help to put an end to some of that activity and put some of the gang members behind bars.  He said, "The benefit of that intelligence would be both in terms of making changes against those individuals in criminal activities as well as evidence to help in the prosecution of those cases."

Law enforcement officers from the Sheriff's department, school system and District Attorney's office also attended the training. APD plans to organize a gang intelligence seminar for parents soon.

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