* Gang activity and gang violence
is no longer an urban phenomenon. It has spread its tentacles
into the Chicago suburbs and Northwest Indiana. Gang activity
is a form of organized crime and must be pursued to ensure safety
in our communities.
* "If a kid is interested
in gangs; that's an interest in drugs; that's an interest in
violence and that's an interest in victimizing the weak. If
that interest is there, that's a problem. It's just a matter
of how long it takes for interest to turn to action."
The Hammond Police
Department recognizes the presence of criminal gang activity
in our communities. Gangs are often involved in vandalism and
tagging, auto theft, dealing illegal drugs, prostitution, burglaries,
selling stolen goods, trading illegal weapons, and violence
against other gang members and occasionally innocent members
of our community. The mission of the Gang Suppression Unit is
to gather intelligence and monitor activities of all known gangs
and gang members in the City of Hammond. Members of the
Gang Suppression Unit regularly make contact with local
gang members, often trying to diffuse potential gang violence
and discourage potential gang members from a life of gangs.
A special interaction is needed when dealing with gang members.
Unit members are firm when dealing with violations of the law
but show respect for individuals during social interaction. This
methodology of interaction with gang members has proven successful
when addressing this community issue. The Hammond Police
Department has taken a “ZERO TOLERANCE” stance against criminal
gang activity in an effort to make our communities in the City
of Hammond safe.
The Gang Suppression Unit of the Hammond Police Department is and
will continue to work together with the community members of
the City of Hammond. Our top priority is to form a partnership
with the citizens in our community in order to protect the interest
of those in our community.
The Gang Suppression Unit has partnered with
the Community Policing Division of the Hammond Police Department
in order to reach out to the citizens of our community. We will
continue to form partnerships with the citizens of our community
to combat and suppress criminal gang activity in the City of
We hope to see you soon at
community meetings scheduled throughout the year.
Defined According to the 2007 Indiana Criminal Code
"Criminal gang" defined
Sec. 1. As used in this chapter,
"criminal gang" means a group with at least three
(3) members that specifically: (1) either:
promotes, sponsors, or assists in; or
participates in; or
as a condition of membership or continued membership;
the commission of a felony or an act that would be a felony
if committed by an adult or the offense of battery (IC 35-42-2-1).
Sec. 2. As used in this chapter,
"threatens" includes a communication made with the
intent to harm a person or the person's property or any other
person or the property of another person.
As added by P.L.180-1991, SEC.11.
Participation in criminal gang; offense
Sec. 3. A person who knowingly
or intentionally actively participates in a criminal gang commits
criminal gang activity, a Class D felony.
As added by P.L.180-1991, SEC.11.
Threats; refusal to join or withdrawal from gang; intimidation
Sec. 4. A person who threatens
another person because the other person:
to join a criminal gang; or
(2) has withdrawn
from a criminal gang;
commits criminal gang intimidation, a Class C felony.
As added by P.L.180-1991, SEC.11.
Criminal gang recruitment
Sec. 5. (a) Except as provided
in subsection (b), an individual who knowingly or intentionally
solicits, recruits, entices, or intimidates another individual
to join a criminal gang commits criminal gang recruitment, a
Class D felony.
(b) The offense under subsection (a)
is a Class C felony if:
(1) the solicitation,
recruitment, enticement, or intimidation occurs within one thousand
(1,000) feet of school property; or
(2) the individual
who is solicited, recruited, enticed, or intimidated is less
than eighteen (18) years of age.
As added by P.L.192-2007, SEC.10.
Sec. 6. In addition to any sentence
or fine imposed on a criminal gang member for committing a felony
or misdemeanor, the court shall order a criminal gang member
convicted of a felony or misdemeanor to make restitution to
the victim of the crime under IC 35-50-5-3.
As added by P.L.192-2007, SEC.11.
City Ordnances to Deter Gang Activity
See City of Hammond Resource links below to view City of Hammond
Ordnances that are used to deter gang activity.
gang activities are frequently shared by a large portion of
society, except for one important difference: gang members seek
confrontations with rivals. When gang members attend school,
a family picnic, neighborhood gathering or party, the potential
for violence and
criminal activity is far
greater than for any other group of people. The violent acts,
usually indiscriminate, often involve innocent victims and gang
violence often makes headlines. Gangs sell drugs, extort businesses,
burglarize homes, rob people, intimidate people, steal cars
or commit other crimes for financial gain. They kill or violently
assault rival gang members. Gangs intentionally vandalize
and destroy public and private property in order to further
promote their reputation, leaving graffiti behind them as their
trademark. Abandoned houses, walls and fences are a favorite
target for graffiti, but even occupied houses and local businesses
do not escape.
or teenagers join gangs for a variety of reasons: the excitement
of gang activity, peer pressure, physical protection, attention
and identity, financial gain, and family tradition. In many
cases, youths are not actively discouraged from gang involvement
by their parents, often because parents are unaware that their
children are engaged in gang activity or have little knowledge
of gang activity.
media has also helped fuel the desire of our youth to be part
of a gang or look and act like gang members. The media has portrayed
the life of a gang member as being meaningful and thrilling
through the promotion of certain films, hip-hop/ rap music,
and television shows. MTV has been one of the bigger promoters
of the gang lifestyle. They know that the thrill and excitement
that gang life portrays appeals to the majority of our youth
in society. MTV has targeted these youth and market the “Rap”
and “Hip-Hop” culture that goes along with the gang lifestyle.
generally identify themselves by a name derived from a street,
neighborhood, or housing project where they are based, or from
a rock band they like, or a cult they follow.
are predominately territorial. Each gang has its own turf and
graffiti marks its boundaries. Anyone not belonging in the area
and who resembles any rival gang members may become the subject
of attack. In recent years there has been a change with
respect to territorial dominance. We have seen in many
places members of rival gangs living in the same apartment complex
or neighborhoods. This is a growing phenomena that is
explained by a shifting and transient lower income population,
and a more mobile and diversified society.
The Left and
gangs stem from prison gangs that have returned to the streets
and neighborhoods where they originally started. These gangs
have different religious beliefs and/or code of honor, manifestos
and/or mission statements. Because of the differences and
alliances to their perspective gangs, the members show their
affiliation by dress, writings, tattoos, graffiti, etc.
These types of behavior are known as the LEFT & RIGHT
rule. By dressing, writing, tattoos, etc., the member
shows his or her alliance to the gang and shows rival gangs
his or her gang designation.
are two main alliances that gangs will usually identify with.
These are known as "PEOPLE" and "FOLKS".
The "PEOPLE" gangs wear their identifiers to
the LEFT side of the body. This would include,
but is not limited to, hats, jewelry, or a rolled-up left pant
leg. "PEOPLE" also represent their affiliation
with the number 5 and/or the 5-pointed star. In their
drawings, a 5-pointed crown, pyramid, top hat, crescent moon,
or a rabbit head with straight ears may be seen. An upside
down pitchfork is used to show disrespect to the rival "FOLKS"
"FOLKS" gangs wear their identifiers to the
RIGHT side of the body. This includes, but is not
limited to, hats, jewelry, or a rolled up right pant leg.
They represent their affiliation with the number 6 and/or the
6-pointed Star of David. Their drawings may consist of
an upward pitchfork, a winged heart or a rabbit head with one
bent ear and they will draw an upside down 5 or crown to show
disrespect to the rival "PEOPLE" gangs.
few street gangs belong to neither the "FOLKS"
nor the "PEOPLE". These independent gangs
feel they do not need other gang alliances or simply want to
form their own affiliation. These groups are often made
up of members of several different gangs and refer to themselves
as "Party Crews" and “Scavenger Gangs”.
gang members dress in a similar manner. The uniform or colors
of local gangs can be easy to identify with a little bit of
information. It includes white T-shirts, thin belts, baggy or
sagging trousers, and a ball cap, which is normally cocked to
one side or the other. Gang members also like particular brands
of shoes, pants or shirts. For example, some gangs like to wear
plaid Pendleton shirts in either: blue, brown, black or red.
These shirts are worn loose and un-tucked. Gang graffiti, symbols,
messages or gang names can be written or embroidered on jackets,
pants and ball caps. Other identifying items include belt buckles
with the gang's initials, key chains, or professional team jackets.
there is a trend to move away from gang identifiers so that
“gang-bangers” are not so easily identified by police or rival
gangs. Many gang members are wearing less obvious blue jeans
and white t-shirts when out in public, saving their gang colors
and jewelry for gang parties or more private events.
1- Examples of Gang Clothing
2 - Examples of Gang Body Art
gang members usually have a nickname or moniker that fits the
individual's physical, personal or psychological traits. For
example: A gang member called “Shorty” could get his moniker
based on his height.
Danger of Writing
problem, which affects our neighborhoods in a variety of ways,
is GRAFFITI. Without a doubt, this type of vandalism decreases
property value in residential neighborhoods and creates a sense
of fear or intimidation in the community. Of greater concern
than the property damage is the random violence associated with
gang graffiti. Gang members use graffiti to mark their "turf"
or territory, declare their own allegiance to the gang, advertise
the gang's status or power, and to challenge rivals.
a neighborhood is marked with graffiti indicating territorial
dominance, the entire area and its inhabitants become targets
for violence. A rival gang identifies everyone in the neighborhood
as a potential threat. Anyone on the street or in their home
is a target for drive-by attacks by rival gang members. Unfortunately,
innocent people are often subjected to gang violence by the
mere presence of graffiti in their neighborhood.
Examples of Graffiti Found in Hammond
Figure 1- Gangster
Disciples Figure 2- Latin
Figure 3- Spanish
Vice Lords Figure 4- Imperial
Graffiti to the Police Department and Call Judge Harkin’s Graffiti
Nation Gangs of Hammond: Folks
Nation Gangs of Hammond:
that You’re Child May be Involved with Gang Activity
* Changes in behavior
* Poor academic progress * Signs of alcohol / drug abuse
* Lack of interest in extracurricular activities *Lack of
interest in recreational activities
*Low self esteem *Resentful of authority
* Radical change in friends
*Radical change in clothing
*Gang - oriented drawings
on books, clothing etc.
What Can I
Do To Help?
and your neighbors can work with the police to help eradicate
gangs and drugs from our community. Here are some suggestions
on how to get involved:
SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY - Gang members rely on intimidation
and fear. They assume that citizens will be too afraid to
call the police. You know your neighborhood better than anyone
else. When something is not right, call and report it right
away. DIAL 911
IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH PROGRAM
- This is a great way to get to
know your neighbors and work with them to fight crime.
- ATTEND A COMMUNITY CRIME WATCH MEETING
– Make it
a point to attend a crime watch meeting that is scheduled
throughout the year in your community. Meet your community-policing
officer and talk with officers from the Gang Suppression Unit
and let them know your concerns.
- CONTACT THE GANG SUPPRESSION UNIT OFFICE – If you have information or a concern, feel free to contact
the Gang Suppression Unit. You can contact us by phone, e-mail,
or we will make arrangements to meet you at your home, business,
police department, library or location of your choice.
- LEARN ABOUT GANG AND DRUG ACTIVITY IN YOUR COMMUNITY
– Take the time to learn about gangs
and drugs in the community. If you need assistance, the Gang
Suppression Unit offers materials and presentations to make
you more aware of gangs and gang activity.
CLEAN UP - The best defense against graffiti
is immediate removal. The longer it stays up, the more recognition
the vandals get from their peers. Judge Harkin of the Hammond
City Court operates The Graffiti Removal Program. The
program offers citizens of Hammond the free service of painting
over or removal of graffiti. See contact information below.
LIGHTING - Encourage your neighbors to
leave porch lights on at night and install sensor lights around
your homes. The City of Hammond offers a free lighting program
through the Hammond Urban Enterprise Association. See
Hammond Resources below for contact info.
DEVELOP GOOD COMMUNICATION SKILLS WITH YOUR CHILD - Good communication
is open, frequent and takes on a positive tone. It allows
your child to come to you to discuss any topic or problem.
It does not condemn or put down. Good communications allows
you to tell your child that you love them.
SPEND TIME WITH YOUR CHILD - Plan activities that the whole family can enjoy. Spend time
alone with your child. Expose them to different places
outside of the norm (i.e. museum, beach, parks, etc...).
Give them attention.
OCCUPY YOUR CHILD’S FREE TIME - Give your child responsibilities
at home. Get them involved in after school sports, recreation,
clubs or church activities.
SET LIMITS FOR YOUR CHILD - Children need to know
whit is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Be consistent.
SET A CURFEW FOR YOUR CHILD - Avoid a lot of unsupervised time out on the streets and know where
your child IS at all times.
KNOW WHO YOUR CHILD IS HANGING AROUND WITH - Meet and know your child's friends. Look for what type of
influence they have on your child and how and where they spend
their free time. Discourage your child from hanging around with
AVOID BUYING AND DISCOURAGE THE WEARING OF GANG STYLE CLOTHING - Wearing gang style clothes
may express an interest in the gangs and will attract the attention
of the gangs.
DO NOT ALLOW THE PRACTICE OF WRITING GANG SYMBOLS - Teach respect for other's
property. Examine your child’s books, papers, clothes,
bodies, and walls in their rooms for symbols or other gang markings.
MONITOR AND LIMIT YOUR CHILD’S USE OF THE INTERNET - Be especially wary of
internet sites that your child frequents. Install software on
your computers at home that limit where your child may navigate.
Be especially wary of internet sites such as My Space.com, chat
rooms, and fight rooms. Gangs also have websites with encrypted
codes that allow them to discuss their activities and announce
meetings, narcotic sales locations, and general information
to members and potential members.
To Contact the Hammond Police Department Gang
Suppression Unit Hotline
FOR AN EMERGENCY DIAL 911 FOR IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE
Resources for Gang Information
G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education And Training)
Major Gang Task Force
Youth Gang Center
Totally Unofficial Rap Dictionary
Glossary Prison Terms
City of Hammond Resources
Hammond Home Security Program- 852-2909, Call for assistance to secure your home.
Hammond Urban Enterprise Association - 853-6512, Securitylighting installed at your home for no cost.
City of Hammond Ordnances - www.gohammond.com/web/index.php?cityordinances
Hammond City Court, Graffiti Removal Program - 853-6410