Gang unit uses Facebook to stop violence

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Updated: 2/20/2012 10:48 am Published: 2/17/2012 5:54 pm

Tulsa gang unit officers, the Oklahoma Gang Investigators Association, are encouraging other law enforcement agencies and members of the community to “like” their Facebook page. 

They are using social networking to help people identify gang members and gang related activity in Green Country. 

Oklahoma cities are currently ranked with other major metropolitans like Los Angeles and New York City with having the same number of gang related homicides.  There are an estimated 12,000 gang members in the Sooner state and more than 6,000 in Tulsa.  About 2,000 of those 6,000 are active members. 

In a seminar on Friday, hundreds of law enforcement agencies from across the state and other educators learned about ways to identify gang related activity.  They checked out graffiti images, hand signs, tattoos and other artwork identifiers.  Gang unit officers talked about why teenagers become gang members. 

“It’s the glamorization of the media,” said Tulsa Police Officer Kevin Warne with the Special Investigations Division.  “The movies, music, little kids see that.  The money the cars, the women, and they want to be a part of that.”

Sherry Strong attended the seminar to better understand gang activity.  She is a CLEET certified instructor.  She teaches classes to women about protecting themselves from violence with and without a gun. 

“At one point I heard the gang members refer to Tulsa as “thug town,” said Strong.   “That disturbs me a great deal.  I don’t like Tulsa being known as thug town.”

Strong plans to use the OGIA’s Facebook page and other tools the Tulsa gang unit provided to educate her students about gang related violence.  She wants to turn “thug town” back into “T-Town”—which, according to several reports, is Tulsa’s nickname dating back to the 19th century. 

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

kindagreywolf - 2/19/2012 3:45 PM
0 Votes
Wait a second. Police can mace passive protesters but we can't whack our kids? And a BIG HUGE WTF? to our illustrious police Department. If you don't hear about them being arrested on criminal charges, there playing on facebook!

truckhounddog - 2/19/2012 12:20 AM
1 Vote
i cant agree enough with u watchdog i have gone through parenting classes with oklahoma dhs and according to them i cant whip,yell,ground,sit in corner etc or i can face charges/jail if they yell child abuse so what exactly is a parent to do dhs did say i can talk with the child if the child wants to

watchdog11 - 2/19/2012 12:01 AM
1 Vote
Too bad if you don't like the title "thug town" it is the truth sadly, but I remember when it wasn't like this not so long ago, I fear it will never be that way again though, the little punks aren't punished because most of them are juveniles, so they know there is no consequences for whatever they do, and parents aren't allowed to discipline their kids anymore, the government seems to think they know better how to raise our kids than we do, so I say establish a Federal home for kids, and when they get into trouble the second time, stick them into the home, and let the government raise the kids, God knows no one seems to be doing it very well now, kids are just doing whatever they want and the parents are just sitting around waiting for them to grow up and get out, the government wants the responsibility, perhaps they can do it better.
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