The Gangfighters Network is an organization designed to bridge the gap between academia and the criminal justice professions. For more information, visit and The focus is on gangs, initially adult gangs as it appears they have been ignored or absorbed into the mainstream society. There's a special focus on gang members in the military.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Gang activity more common in military

WASHINGTON, July 28 (UPI) -- Urban street gangs have moved from U.S. cities into the U.S. military, with gang graffiti even showing up on Humvees in Iraq.

Hunter Glass, a retired police detective in Fayetteville, N.C., where Fort Bragg is located, said strains on the military because of Iraq and Afghanistan make it difficult to keep gangs out of the military.

"It's obvious that many of these people do not give up their gang affiliations," Glass told CBS News.

The Army Criminal Investigation Command said the number of gang-related investigations increased from nine in 2004 to 61 last year. But officials said gang activity is still a tiny part of its caseload.

The increase coincides with the increase in the number of recruits given waivers for having criminal records. Membership in a street gang is not necessarily a disqualifier.

Stephanie Cockrell, whose son was killed in a gang initiation in Germany two weeks before his discharge, said that should change.

"I would have loved to have seen him with his child, I really would have -- that part is hard, that part is hard," she said.

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