Macon Police Keep Gang Database

12:37 PM, Apr 11, 2008   |    comments
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Items confiscated from gang members, some coded in their own language, line offices of the Macon Police Department. "B.F.G.C.," Lt. Carl Fletcher says pointing to a baseball cap. "Now Momma or Daddy would look at that and have no clue, Bloomfield Gangsta Crips." Now police want to better monitor and crack down on those gangs by keeping an internal database of names. They say they already have the names of about 300 suspected gang members they are watching. "But not all of these 300 are gun-toting assassins," Fletcher said. "A lot of them are judged by the company they keep." Fletcher says they also look at convictions, tattoos and even they colors people wear before adding them to the list. But he says they want to be careful not to stereotype. "Just because you're wearing the color blue or you got one pant leg up doesn't denote that you're a gang member," Fletcher said. "If you take 2 or 3 of these things we're looking for and put them together it's kind of hard to ignore that." Now, they are putting together a nine person gang task force. Fletcher estimates about 80 percent of shootings in Macon, in one way or another, involve a gang squabble. "More times than not, it's not a coincidence that somebody's house gets shot," Fletcher said. "There's a reason." He says, if they can crack down on the gangs, they hope they can make a dent in crime overall. Fletcher says, in 1999, the police department had a list of about 1200 suspected gang members but lost the list when an office computer crashed. To learn more about the signs of gangs and to ask questions of police officers you can attend their public meeting this Thursday. The meeting will start at 6:30p.m. in Macon City Council chambers. Only the first 200 people will be admitted.

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