How to Help

What You Can Do

First, know the signs of gang membership and activity. They include:

  • Common dress / colors within a group
  • Common tattoos within a group
  • Graffiti and graffiti-type artwork in notebooks or on walls
  • Refers to friends as "family"
  • Use of hand signs

What the Business Community Can Do

  • Correct outside lighting problems
  • Enforce "No Trespass / Barment" notices
  • Ensure that your surveillance system functions properly and is recording if you have one
  • Remove graffiti as soon as possible so it is no longer visible
  • Report any possible gang activity / graffiti to law enforcement
  • Start and/or enforce a "no gang colors" policy in your establishment

What Parents Can Do

  • Be involved in your kids' lives
  • Educate yourself on signs of activity
  • Get to know their friends and where they go
  • Pay attention to behavioral changes such as the way they dress, changes in grades, changes in school attendance, and the company they keep
  • Pay attention to the music they are listening to, the websites / chat rooms they are visiting, and the type of art / posters in their room
  • Talk to your kids about gangs

What Community Members Can Do

  • Be a positive role model for youth
  • Become involved in community organizations and coalitions that promote positive activities for youth
  • Maintain a working relationship with community policing officers and aid in establishing programs such as Neighborhood Watch
  • Refrain from the use of specific gang names, as it aids in gang recruitment