Printer Friendly

Gangs Toolkit

Street gang crime can take many forms. The COPS Gangs Toolkit consists of resources for law enforcement officials, educators, and parents to address specific types of crimes committed by gangs. The following resources provide details of community policing solutions to youth crime and school violence. The COPS Office encourages law enforcement agencies to analyze their local gang problems and use these resources, as appropriate.

Each publication can be downloaded here, or requested from the COPS Office Response Center by email or telephone at 1.800.421.6770.

Bullying in Schools 
There is always concern about school violence, and police have assumed greater responsibility for helping school officials ensure students' safety. As pressure increases to place officers in schools, police agencies must decide how best to contribute to student safety. This guide provides police with information about the causes and extent of bullying in schools and recommendations for developing effective approaches and practices that contribute to student safety.

Disorderly Youth in Public Places 
Disorderly youth in public places constitute one of the most common problems facing many police agencies. This problem-oriented guide for police provides a general discussion of the problem of disorderly youth in public places and reviews the factors that contribute to it. The guide also identifies questions to ask when dealing with a disorderly youth problem, proposes numerous responses to the problem, and identifies ways to measure the effectiveness of responses to the problem.

Drive-By Shootings 
Drive-by shootings are but one aspect of the larger set of problems related to gang and gun violence. This guide addresses the particular harms drive-by shootings cause by describing the problem of drive-by shootings and reviewing factors that increase its risks. It then identifies a series of questions to help law enforcement analyze their local drive-by shootings problem. Finally, it reviews responses to the problem and what is known about them from evaluative research and police practice.

Drug Dealing in Open-Air Markets 
Open-air markets represent the lowest level of the drug distribution network. Low-level markets need to be tackled effectively to reduce the harms that illicit drug use can inflict on the local community. This guide describes the problem and reviews the factors that increase the risks of drug dealing in open-air markets. The guide then identifies a series of questions that might assist agencies in analyzing their local problem and reviews responses to the problem and what is known about these from evaluative research and police practice.

Graffiti 
This problem-oriented guide for police addresses effective responses to the problem of graffiti - the wide range of markings, etchings, and paintings that deface public or private property. In recent decades, graffiti has become an extensive problem, spreading from the largest cities to other locales. This guide provides law enforcement a serious of questions to consider when analyzing their local graffiti problem and reviews responses to the problem based on evaluative research and police practice.

Gun Violence Among Serious Young Offenders 
While gun violence among young offenders seems to pervade our society, it is remarkably clustered among high-risk people, in high-risk places, at high-risk times. This concentration of violence provides an important opportunity for police to strategically address a seemingly intractable problem. This guide identifies a series of questions to help law enforcement analyze their local problem and reviews responses to the problem and what is known about them from evaluative research and police practice.

Juvenile Runaways 
Police encounter juveniles for many reasons related to their running away from home. This guide begins by describing the problem of juvenile runaways and reviewing its risk factors. It then identifies a series of questions to help law enforcement analyze their local juvenile runaway problem. Finally, it reviews responses to the problem and what is known about them from evaluative research and police practice.

Solutions to Address Gang Crime CD-ROM 
The CD-ROM includes resources related to law enforcement responses for addressing gang activity, gang activity in specific populations, criminal behavior of gangs, and statistics and research on gangs. This CD-ROM contains a video documenting the 2003 Herman Goldstein Award Winner and Finalists.

Street Gangs and Interventions: Innovative Problem Solving with Network Analysis 
This paper briefly reviews the range of prevention, intervention, suppression, and comprehensive strategies, providing examples of each type. It then offers a case study of problem analysis in Newark, New Jersey. The reader will learn the unique utility of network analysis in the resultant problem analysis and understand the important role of an academic research partner. Finally, the paper considers the importance of sustainability with regard to problem analysis.

Witness Intimidation
Witness intimidation is but one aspect of the larger set of problems related to protecting crime victims and witnesses from future harms. This guide focuses on the issues and responses that are most relevant to police, although useful resources for prosecutors are highlighted where appropriate.

For more information on gangs, go to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) web site, "In the Spotlight Gangs Resources" for facts and figures, legislation, publications, programs, and other useful information.