The Munford Police Department is taking a proactive approach to the street gang and hate group problem that is growing throughout the nation. The inner city gangs of Los Angeles and Chicago have migrated. What was once only a big city problem is now moving into smaller cities and rural areas. Gangs have found new places to recruit members and start up criminal activity, which means our community is not immune from gangs. The City of Memphis is just twenty miles south of Munford. Gangs are using Highway 51 as a corridor to transport illegal drugs and weapons from Memphis to Covington and Ripley. The music kids are listening to expose them to gang slang and glamorize the gang lifestyle. Kids see music videos filled with large amounts of money and expensive cars. Some kids start to mimic the things they see, Before long the “Wannabees” evolve into “gonnabees” and then into gang members.
Gangs only go unseen when law enforcement personnel, as well as educators and parents, fail to recognize signs of gang activity and an individual’s involvement. Breaking the cycle requires police, school and parental involvement.
TCA Definition of a Street Gang:
- Three or more individuals associated in and ongoing group or organization.
- The group has identifiable leaders.
- The group has a name or identifying symbol.
- The group shows unity by claiming control over specific territory, communicating through graffiti and hand signs, ect
- The organization’s members, individually or collectively, are engaged in violent or criminal activity.
- A gang is an organized group with a recognized leader whose activities are either criminal, or at the very least, threatening to your community.
Graffiti is a good way for law enforcement to identify potential gang activity. Graffiti may be in the shape of numbers, stars, crowns, swords, rabbit heads, crosses, swastikas and many other symbols. Gang members will paint their gang symbols or gang member names on the side of buildings, garbage cans, fences or on sidewalks. All Graffiti is vandalism and should be reported to the police department. Graffiti should then be painted over or removed.
The Munford Police Departments gang officers, Sgt. Taube and Sgt. Dodge, are members of the Tennessee Gang Investigators Association (TNGIA) and attend regional gang meetings. Officer Penny Barnes, the Munford High School Resource Officer, is a member of the Tennessee Gang Investigators Association and is available for students inside the Munford school system. The Munford Police Department has established contacts, throughout west Tennessee, that advise us on gang activity that may affect our community. If you have knowledge of activity you believe is gang related or wish to obtain more information on gangs contact Sgt. Taube firstname.lastname@example.org, Sgt. Dodge email@example.com, or the Munford Police Department, 901-837-5980. If you think your student may be involved or exposed to gang related issues contact Officer Penny Barnes by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at Munford High School.
For more information on gangs or gang related material, please visit Tipton-Gangs.org.
The website was created by the Munford Police Department with the cooperation of the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office.