On January 30th, 2007, Alaska Cares and the Safe City Task Force held a training at the B.P. energy center.
Two police officers from the A.P.D. and a special agent from the F.B.I. conducted the training.
The talking points were:
Is there a gang problem in Anchorage? Yes.
Are there gangs in Alaska? Yes.
The Crypts and Bloods are in Fairbanks signified by the color of red and blue clothing.
The definition of a gang is a group of three or more with a common name. With two or more illegal offenses committed within two years under Alaska Statute 11.41 and/or 11.46. Or a felony offenses as determined by the F.B.I.
Under the federal law, a gang can have a continuing series of illegal offenses or a Federal felony. They have to commit a crime of violence or a conspiracy to commit a crime.
Gangs are a product of the community in Alaska. Gangs do not relocate to Alaska. They use intimidation with the people in their communities including their own members to maintain control.
They exist in virtually every community in Alaska.
Three or more members up to 1000. Their motto is "respect equals fear" and vice versa. This is considered gang discipline.
An organization is not a gang. And organization is explained as a group that help other members in their community.
A gang will give guidance to their new members. And present a facade of getting along with everyone.
Recruitment and Membership:
Gangs are targeting 5th/6th and 7th graders for membership. The Safe City Task Force is also targeting this age group for prevention.
There is a perceived status in the gang:
Gain Self Esteem
Need to Belong
Organized with national ties
Written rules and regulations
Gangs often are a result of family generational influence/familes condone the gangs
Protection "someone has their back."
Money (clothes, cars, jewlery, or hard cash)
Ongoing gang wars can escalate to murder.
Factors influencing membership
Gangs recruit in schools, churches, teen night clubs, athletic events and teen hang-outs
Membership is not defined by ethnic groups, gender or age. In Alaska it does not matter.
Males make up 85% of the gangs and females making up 15%. Females are often the decoys or the spies. The national average age for gang members is from 18 to 40 years.
Per research from the Juvenile Justice system in Alaska, the average age is 12-16 years old.
Hardcore members promote the violence. At risk kids are the easiest for to target for intervention.
Types of gangs:
The scavenger gang is the most common gang in Anchorage.
Drugs include trafficking, sales, usage and possesion.
Money and retailiation.
Red, Blue and Black in Alaska
Gangs use area codes as indentifiers
Cell phone pads and numbers are used to text other members.
Law Enforcement Strategies
Number of gangs in Anchorage:
30 + gangs
Communities in Alaska are in denial. Fairbanks does not recognize the problem.