Albany Police Department

Gang Task Unit

(229) 431-2100 / (229) 430-2912
Email: AlbanyGangUnit@albany.ga.us

Albany Police Department Gang Unit:

The Albany Police Department Gang Unit consists of (2) two supervisors and (10) ten skilled Investigators.

General Purpose:

To perform highly responsible, tactical, and professional work, directed towards the suppression of criminal gang activities in the City of Albany.

Objectives:

A. Investigate gang related crimes.
B. Identify and document gang members.
C. Educate the public on gang activity.
D. Assess the nature and scope of illegal gang activities, once identified penetrate and dismantle the criminal activities with a proactive investigative effort.
E. Target specific criminal enterprises to eliminate gang power and influence.
F. Identify opportunities for coordinated inter-county and interdepartmental planning to implement prevention strategies.
G. Identify and review major research studies, national surveys and community models for addressing problems.

Definition of Gangs:

The law enforcement’s definition of a gang is three or more individuals, juveniles and or adults, who associate on a continuous basis, form an allegiance for a common purpose, and are involved in delinquent or criminal activity. This definition is simple and functional. The gang may range from a loose knit group of individuals who hang around together and commit crimes together, to a formal organization with a leader or ruling council, gang colors, gang identifiers, and a gang name.

Safety Tips:

Be aware, vigilant and conscious of Gang Graffiti.

  • When parking, roll up the windows, lock the vehicle and take the keys. During hours of darkness, park and walk in lighted areas, if possible.
  • When returning to your vehicle, carry your keys in your hand, be ready to unlock the door and take a quick look inside before entering the vehicle.

Signs of Gang problems:

  • Unexplained wealth – sudden money or possession.
  • Showing a change in personality or behavior.
  • Color of clothing and jewelry.
  • Using unusual hand signs, nicknames or language.
  • Writing strange symbols (graffiti) on notebooks and folders.
  • Withdrawing from family members or friends, radical change in friends.
  • Decline in grades; alcohol and/or drug abuse.
  • Involvement in criminal activity.
  • Tattoos, clothing, jewelry, or hairstyles that identify a particular gang.

Tips for Kids:

  • Settle arguments with words, not with fists or weapons.
  • Learn safe routes for walking in the neighborhood and know good places to seek help.
  • Report any crimes or suspicious actions to the police, school authorities, and parents.
  • Don’t hang out with gang members and stay away from known gang hangouts.
  • If someone tries to pressure you into joining a gang, say no, get away, and tell a trusted adult.
  • Stick with friends who are also against gangs, and stay away from places and people associated with them.

Why Individuals join Gangs:

  • Acceptance.
  • Quick Money.
  • Peer pressure, feel safe and wanted.
  • Structure in their life, Praise and Attention.
  • Status, Identity or recognition.
  • To relieve boredom and reputation.

How to get out of a Gang:

  • Most have to move from neighborhoods, city or county to stay safe in order to leave gang life behind.
  • Seek alternative methods, i.e. faith organizations, civic organization, police or family.
  • Perseverance and wanting to make a positive change.
  • Encourage the person to spend time doing extracurricular activities.
What parents can do:

  • Talk with, not to your child. Listen to them and take the time to understand their concerns. Let them know they are important
  • Monitor their wardrobes, behavior (rebellion), drop in grades, skipping or quitting school
  • Establish “home rules” for your child and always follow them. Enforce curfews; setting clear boundaries and expectations is the kind of structure many youth are yearning for: Do not allow the gang culture to meet this need.
  • Meet and know your teenager(s) friends and their parents. You will feel more secure if you know the people that your children are hanging out with.
  • Teach your children and teenagers through your own example. It may not always seem like it, but they look up to you and want to follow what you do.
  • Reassure them that you love them. Show your love with hugs and encouragement
  • Help keep awareness high – share what you know about gangs with others so that gang activity is recognized in the community
  • Be involved with your child in school, community or church activities and encourage them to participate in healthy recreational activities and sports; involving them in a variety of activities will help prevent boredom.

Report gang activity in your area. If you see gang activity or graffiti in your area, call the police. Be willing to clean off graffiti, if asked.

Advice if your loved one is considering joining a gang:

  • Ask what are your goals in life?
  • Inform your loved ones that gangs have short term benefits
  • Once caught up in gang activities, this could affect the entire family.
  • Stress to your children that tomorrow is not promised.
It takes a community effort in solving gang related problems.

click here to download Gang Unit Brochure - Gangs in Albany (PDF)

"Working Together We Can and Will Make a Difference"