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Gang members can come from virtually every socioeconomic level of the community. They can be from the homes of the very rich to the very poor.
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It is one possible indication of gang activity in your area. Gang graffiti is different than other graffiti, and it takes an educated individual to "read" it. Through graffiti, gangs give notice of their presence and activity. The graffiti can range from individual members' names to symbols, such as a painted crown. Graffiti is how gangs communicate and tell others that the area is visited by a particular gang.
Notify your local law enforcement agency so that they can photograph it. This enables law enforcement to monitor gang activity. If you live in North Miami Beach, notify the North Miami Beach Police Department by calling 305-948-2940.
Be aware of the friends with whom your child associates. What kind of clothing does your child wear? Is a particular color or piece of clothing always part of what he or she wears? Does he or she have graffiti on their school book covers?
Notify your local law enforcement agency. If you live in North Miami Beach, notify the North Miami Beach Police Department by calling 305-949-5500 and ask for someone to speak to you and your child. School Resource Officers and Dare/Great Officers are also available to assist you by calling 305-948-2956.
In North Miami Beach, the School Resource Officers (SROs) are trained in dealing with gangs. They are aware of the kids who belong to gangs and monitor them while they are in school. The SROs work closely with the Gang Unit and the Community Policing Unit so that gang activity within schools is held to a minimum. Most gang activity occurs away from schools.
Kids normally join street gangs by either committing a crime or by being "jumped in." "Jumped in" is an initiation which involves other gang members beating the perspective member as a test of his or her courage and fighting ability.
Gang members are sometimes armed. They carry an assortment of weapons ranging from sticks and baseball bats to semi-automatic firearms.