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Taking Down Mexican Mafia Cliques In the O.C.

Operation Black Flag was another "staggering and comprehensive blow" to California's most powerful gang, according to U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte. However,...

https://www.policemag.com/373888/taking-down-mexican-mafia-cliques-in-the-o-c
Prison Shanks

The jail-made "shank" is fashioned from this material by sharpened by scraping the metal on concrete floors. A handle is fashioned from paper or cloth....

https://www.policemag.com/373727/prison-shanks
Gang Task Forces Take Down Mexican Mafia 'Carnals'

Two recent investigations show us the value of gang task forces that combine resources from law enforcement, prosecutors, and corrections to take down...

https://www.policemag.com/374265/gang-task-forces-take-down-mexican-mafia-carnals

Members of criminal gangs are commonly motivated by greed and vengeance. However, the most dangerous individuals that I have encountered are motivated by...

https://www.policemag.com/373023/the-aryan-brotherhoodthe-dogs-of-war-part-2-of-2

Why do the otherwise productive anti-gang programs of New York, Chicago, Baltimore, and Philadelphia not work in Los Angeles? Why do these same cities...

https://www.policemag.com/372971/the-structure-of-gangs
Working Solo at Ground Zero

What is it going to take before police administrators double up these cars? There is no sane reason to send young cops out in solo units in areas like...

https://www.policemag.com/373832/working-solo-at-ground-zero
Mexican Cartel Violence: None Dare Call It Terrorism

In the last three years, 23,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the Mexican drug gang violence. This daily body count rivals totals from Iraq...

https://www.policemag.com/373543/mexican-cartel-violence-none-dare-call-it-terrorism

We all fear that the justice system seems unable to protect us or punish the bad guys. When these conditions and feelings become extreme, self protection...

https://www.policemag.com/373329/vigilante-justice
Will 'End of Watch' Shift the Perception of Cops?

"End of Watch" provides a refreshing avoidance of the Hollywood formula. This production has captured the most realistic depiction of everyday police...

https://www.policemag.com/374245/will-end-of-watch-shift-the-perception-of-cops
Gangs and Electronic Surveillance—Part I

Sometimes separate local, state, or county police are used for physical surveillance. Occasionally when intercepted communications seem to have gone...

https://www.policemag.com/374031/gangs-and-electronic-surveillancepart-i
TV Gang Docs: Turning Hoodlums Into Heroes

Why do some people feel the need to rewrite history to suit their needs? Many of these "documentaries" are only as good as their sources of information and...

https://www.policemag.com/373877/tv-gang-docs-turning-hoodlums-into-heroes

When most Americans think of Hispanic gangs, they think of East Los Angeles, the San Fernando or San Gabriel Valleys, Boyle Heights, or Downtown Los...

https://www.policemag.com/373016/history-of-the-florence-13-gang

Gang members have found inventive ways of bringing drugs into the courts. Perhaps the most offensive method of delivery was to enlist the help of court...

https://www.policemag.com/373098/how-gangs-use-the-justice-system
Corruption In Collegiate Athletics

The abuses from professional sports would eventually taint college recruitment. Money under the table, trips to strip clubs and topless bars, and steroid...

https://www.policemag.com/373776/corruption-in-collegiate-athletics

Don't let anyone tell you that gang life is part of any ethnicity's culture. It's not.

https://www.policemag.com/373195/street-gangs-have-their-own-criminal-culture

Here is a hint; one of the best ways to build usable gang intelligence to fight gangs is through surveillance.

https://www.policemag.com/373269/gang-intelligence-and-surveillance

In the long war between police gang fighters and the outlaw criminal gangs, gang defectors can be important and valuable allies. Unless someone in your team...

https://www.policemag.com/374202/cultivating-effective-gang-informants

The genius of the RICO statutes is that they work perfectly against organized criminal gangs. A person can be charged even if that person did not directly...

https://www.policemag.com/373229/how-to-make-a-rico-case-against-gangs

We had just saved the founder of the Mexican Mafia’s life by arresting him and sending him to prison. But he wouldn’t be grateful. He would quickly...

https://www.policemag.com/373169/some-gang-members-can-go-straight

It is rare for law enforcement to have an opportunity to hear from the mind of one who lived it. Today, Mundo (with a new identity) continues to assist law...

https://www.policemag.com/372989/history-of-the-mexican-mafia-prison-gang
Sureño Tattoos and Symbols

Sureños can be found in every major city in the U.S. They can be found in Canada, Mexico, Europe, and South America. The big transnational super gangs such...

https://www.policemag.com/373466/sureno-tattoos-and-symbols

The season brings the same problems to the ghettos and barrios that face the rest of us, except in an exaggerated way. Problems like poverty, lack of...

https://www.policemag.com/373068/holidays-in-the-hood

Just like it is beneficial for a military unit in combat to know the topography of the battle area, your recognition and assessment of the surrounding...

https://www.policemag.com/373282/how-we-took-down-the-geraghty-loma-gang

These supposed “non-gang” gang supporters are too often shown leniency by the prosecutors and courts. They have as much culpability for the acts of the gang...

https://www.policemag.com/373376/gang-enablers-and-co-dependents
Categories: Investigations, Special Units
Investigating Gangs Outside the Gang Squad

I remember riding with another L.A. Deputy Sheriff in an East Los Angeles gang car in 1975. To me, it was a privilege working with a special gang...

https://www.policemag.com/339771/investigating-gangs-outside-the-gang-squad

The Black Panther Press' underground "New Afrikan Swahili Dialect Dictionary" is a guide to words and phrases used by black gang members in prison. Break...

https://www.policemag.com/373721/a-swahili-dictionary
Paintball Wars: Effective Reality-Based Training

Based on my experience, I'd say my paintball games were more realistic and useful training experiences than any contrived multiple-target drill, falling...

https://www.policemag.com/373670/paintball-wars-effective-reality-based-training
Iraqis, Grenades, and Mexican Cartels

In a federal indictment charging the suspects, it was alleged that the center of their criminal operation was an Iraqi social club in El Cajon, and...

https://www.policemag.com/373907/iraqis-grenades-and-mexican-cartels

Every outlaw biker knows that “snitches wind up in ditches,” but Buck Garrett wanted more than just Margo Compton. He wanted to make an example of her to...

https://www.policemag.com/373270/protecting-gang-witnesses
Gangs and Lowrider Car Shows

If I worked a gang unit in your area, I would send plainclothes officers inside to monitor any Lowrider shows near your jurisdiction. I would also watch...

https://www.policemag.com/373861/gangs-and-lowrider-car-shows

For females recruited into a gang the male ritual of the “jump in” may be replaced by the ritual “sexed in,” requiring the female to have sex with several...

https://www.policemag.com/373234/sexual-secrets-of-gang-culture

Soon the prison race war spilled into the streets. The first battles were in the Santa Monica and Venice areas at apartment complexes like the Oakwood...

https://www.policemag.com/373103/los-angeles-gangs-and-hate-crimes
Categories: Weapons
Kel-Tec PF-9 Pistol

For undercover police work or even off-duty use, a small gun that can easily be concealed yet fires a reasonably powerful cartridge is essential. Kel-Tec...

https://www.policemag.com/339855/kel-tec-pf-9-pistol

If you're looking for good gang training, remember all gang training is not equal. Many of these sources suffer from poor curriculum and sub-standard...

https://www.policemag.com/373638/evaluating-gang-training-for-officers

I was there when this monster was spawned. The Tortilla Flats Gang was born in Compton, Calif., about 1962.

https://www.policemag.com/373082/chuckie-midget-and-the-compton-tortilla-flats-gang
Booby Traps: Death by Trick or Device

In recent years, attacks against police officers have increasingly become sneaky ambushes rather than direct confrontations. They may involve improvised...

https://www.policemag.com/373805/booby-traps-death-by-trick-or-device
Police Officers on Wanted Posters

Two New York officers threatened in a gang wanted poster should consider the threats from the bad guys a true compliment. It means they are making a real...

https://www.policemag.com/374282/police-officers-on-wanted-posters
Inside the Black Panther Party (2 of 2)

By the late 1960s, many of the Black Panther Party leadership had become entangled in criminal trials or were serving long prison sentences. Some had been...

https://www.policemag.com/374151/inside-the-black-panther-party-2-of-2

Hear Richard Valdemar take part in radio discussions about Los Angeles gangs.

https://www.policemag.com/373183/richard-valdemar-on-the-radio

Sunday marked the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the Rodney King Riots in Los Angeles. In 1992, major rioting would continue until May 25. Much has...

https://www.policemag.com/374071/20-years-after-the-rodney-king-riots
Blood Brothers: Cartel Ties That Bind

Like the unwanted dandelions that sprout in lawns, cartel and gang partners continue to adapt and survive. The systematic corruption of our police, courts...

https://www.policemag.com/373702/blood-brothers-cartel-ties-that-bind

Suddenly, a night of fun became a night of terror as multiple muzzle flashes lit the night from the interior of the blue Impala. Bang! Bang! Bang!...

https://www.policemag.com/373150/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-gang-member

What you usually see in any gun buyback program is elderly people turning in old junk guns from some closet or garage where they have sat gathering dust for...

https://www.policemag.com/374416/the-fallacy-of-gun-buyback-programs
Categories: Special Units
Murder Ink

One afternoon about five years ago, I was summoned from my desk at the detective division of a major Southern California urban sheriff's department and...

https://www.policemag.com/339501/murder-ink

The lure of filthy lucre is too great. Gang members betray the ancient warrior's code of conduct for new tires and fancy rims, or a dime bag of dope. Honor...

https://www.policemag.com/373508/gangs-abandon-honor-for-an-unholy-alliance

MS-13 will now be targeted for the seizure of its criminal assets just like infamous foreign-born criminal organizations such the Yakuza of Japan and...

https://www.policemag.com/374178/a-financial-weapon-to-fight-gangs

For several months prior to the riots, intelligence reports rolled across my desk about activity in the Jordan Downs, Imperial Courts, and Nickerson Gardens...

https://www.policemag.com/373174/what-really-happened-during-the-rodney-king-riots
Getting Away With Murder

The release in Mexico of one of the men responsible for the murder of DEA Special Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena has renewed tension between the U.S. and...

https://www.policemag.com/374379/getting-away-with-murder

You are now in the middle of a kill zone between two rival and highly agitated gangs. You watch in slow motion as they drop their wounded and draw their...

https://www.policemag.com/373184/gang-members-in-the-emergency-room

When I first joined the LASD I saw many of these same fine traits in most of the sergeants and lieutenants I worked for. My measure of the leadership...

https://www.policemag.com/373205/courage-under-fire


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