What To Do About Gangs

Once found only in large cities, gangs have invaded communities of all sizes across the United States. Gangs bring fear and violence to neighborhoods, traffic in drugs, destroy property, and drive out businesses. Gangs draw young people away from school and home and into a life of violence.

Learn About Gangs

Gangs can be organized around race or ethnic group, money-making activities, or territory.

Most gang members are male; they range in age from 8 to 22 years. Young people give various reasons for joining gangs. Among the most common:

To belong to a group

For protection

To earn money

For excitement

To be with friends. For some it is even a family tradition.

Gangs signal their existence and solidarity through clothing and head coverings, a social vocabulary, tattoos, hand signals, and tagging their territory with graffiti. "Gangster" rap paints a realistic picture of daily gang activity. The lyrics glorify violence, abuse of women, and disrespect for authority, especially the police. Its popularity among the young has helped spread the culture of gangs, cutting across class, economic, racial, and geographical lines.

Signs That Your Child Might Be In A Gang

Changes in type of friends.

Changes in dress habits, such as wearing the same color combination all the time.

Gang symbols on books or clothing.


Secretiveness about activities.

Extra cash from unknown sources.

Carrying a weapon of some type.

Declining interest in school and family.

Being arrested or detained by the police.

If you notice these patterns, get help. Contact the school counselor or the gang crimes unit of your police department. (Mandan Police Department) (701) 667-3250

Make Sure Your Child Doesn't Need A Gang

Show your child love with lots of hugs and reassurances. Talk with and listen to your child.

Supervise your children's activities. Help them get involved in athletics or other activities that interest them. Know about your child's friends and their friend's families. Put a high value on education and help your child to do his or her best in school. Do everything possible to prevent dropping out. Talk about your values and why you think gangs are dangerous. Discuss the violence, drug dealing, hatred of other groups for no reason, and the likelihood of being arrested and imprisoned. And don't forget to listen as well.

What Can Communities Do To Keep Gangs Out?

Develop positive alternatives - after school, weekend, and summer activities where children and teens can learn, expand their world, and have fun. Encourage parents to talk to one another through school forums, social events, networks, parenting classes, and support groups. Cooperate with police and other agencies. Report suspicious activity, set up a Neighborhood Watch or Citizen's Patrol, volunteer to clean up graffiti. Get organized and show gangs that your neighborhood has zero tolerance for their activities. Your community has many resources who can work together against gangs, including law enforcement, civic groups, religious congregations, schools, youth  agencies, Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA/YWCA,

Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, drug treatment services, and community centers.

For Information

Boys & Girls Clubs of America
1230 West Peachtree Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30309
Web Site: http://www.bgca.org/

National PTA
330 North Wabash, Suite 2100
Chicago, IL 60611-3690
Web Site: http://www.pta.org/

National Youth Gang Information Center
PO Box 12729
Tallahassee, FL 32317
904-385-0600, ext. 226, 285, or 259

Crime Prevention Tips from:
National Crime Prevention Council
1700 K Street, NW, Second Floor
Washington, DC 20006-3817
Web Site: http://www.weprevent.org

Each school can request an Officer to meet with the students and confer with the school faculty regarding safety and other concerns.

This is the official site of the Mandan Police Department