Dealing with Gang Members

One of the biggest sources of crime that we deal…


One of the biggest sources of crime that we deal with today is that of gangs and their members. Unfortunately, the gang culture has pervaded our society from sea to shining sea, and everywhere in between. Gangs have become the problem not only of big-city police departments, but also that of small town and rural law enforcement and even the military. A study of gangs and the gang world would take volumes. Here we will be relegated to a discussion of tactical and officer safety concerns in contacting and dealing with gang members.

gangs1.gifContact Technique
If manpower allows, utilize three officers when contacting known gang members. Obviously, personnel issues with smaller agencies will prohibit this in many instances, but you should endeavor to back your fellow officers whenever dealing with gangbangers.

When using the three-officer contact technique, optimally one officer will actually engage the subjects while a second officer serves to simply scan from a few steps back, watching hands and looking for danger signs. The third officer stands back at yet a further vantage point (possibly as far as across the street), watching a larger area around the subjects.

Load Comments
  • John Clark

    I know your columns are for the law enforcement community but I would like to see an article on the same topic with the civilan in mind. I feel that civilans need information on how to deal with this threat. I am in the army and stationed at Fort Lewis, WA. The surronding area is littered with street gangs. There is even gangs out here that for intiation into the gang a recruit has to start a fight with a soldier. they usually prey on soldiers just back from deployment since they are usually more agressive, a biproduct of the deployment itself. With this in mind, I know it’s a matter of time before me or one of my friends are targeted.