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.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Good coverage, but . . .

The Stars & Stripes has done an excellent job of covering recent gang news, especially the news involving a Gangster Disciple death in Germany. The information regarding gangs on their site is for the most part accurate.

The only inaccuracy is contained in the Powerpoint slideshow posted on their site. The Army Major that brazenly placed his name on the presentation was not the source of the material. Many of the pictures were marked, apparently by him, with information regarding their source that was false. Nonetheless, the presentation has been sent around the world via email and now the Stars & Stripes.

It is sad that the credibility of those who study this phenomenon might be tainted because of people who just want to make a name for themselves . . .

It is more sad that a reputable newspaper would lend their credibility to this individuals plagiarized work.

The Stars & Stripes reported:

The pictures are in a 2006 PowerPoint presentation on criminal street gangs in the military by Kenneth Ferguson Kelly, a former military police investigator in Germany. Stars and Stripes obtained a copy of the presentation.

The 43-slides offer insights into why gang members join the military; comments from a former gang member in the Army; instances of gang activity in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines; analyses of gang symbols; and proactive responses with which military leaders can combat gangs.

The slide show, titled “Criminal Street Gangs In the ‘MILITARY,’ ” was a compilation of material gathered over several years, said Maj. Thomas Acklen, whose name appears on the brief’s title page. He now works at U.S. Army Garrison Schinnen, Netherlands. He didn’t put the presentation together all on his own, he said, and the briefing is constantly being updated.

The presentation and others like it around Europe are used as educational tools for commanders at all levels — from company level on up to division, Acklen said.

He didn’t put the presentation together all on his own, in fact I doubt he put any of it together . . . and he surely did not have the permission of those who did put this information together.

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