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.

Friday, February 29, 2008

NEWSCHANNEL 13 Investigation Reveals Gangs In The Military
Updated:Feb 28, 2008 03:45 PM CST

NEWSCHANNEL 13 Investigation Reveals Gangs In The Military

By Josh Simeone

COLORADO SPRINGS - They are the ones protecting our country, but is everyone who joins the military joining to protect your freedom?
Colorado Springs Police confirm to NEWSCHANNEL 13 that gangs have infiltrated army bases and posts nationwide.
From Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, to Ft. Drum, New York, reports indicate gang activity in the military has become a large problem.
Colorado Springs Police Sgt. Rob Kelley, a GangNet Sgt. at the Sand Creek substation says gang members join the military for the training.
"They get trained on weapons, they get trained on tactics - they go into finance, learn how to move money, large amounts of money," Sgt. Kelley says.
Sgt. Kelley says the military offers the best training available, and gang members are well aware of it. To make matters worse, police find it nearly impossible to track gang members who join the military. Sgt. Kelley says members take advantage of computer and cell phone technology to stay virtually invisible to law enforcement.
"They've come up, remained under the radar, have no criminal record, there's nothing to keep them out."
A former gang member tells NEWSCHANNEL 13 the military not only offers training that is valuable on the streets, but it also gets a member noticed. He claims there are even gang members behind the gates of Fort Carson.
In Colorado Springs city limits, police have documented 525 active gang members but they believe that number to be low. Police estimate there to be nearly 1,500 gang members in the city. Historically, CSPD has only document two local gang members to have joined the military, but they admit, they do not have the technology or manpower to track everyone.
Police say it's important to keep in mind that gangs have now organized, and have broadened their activity to stay ahead of law enforcement and the military.
Sources close to the military tell NEWSCHANNEL 13 the military is scanning every incoming soldier for tattoos that may indicate any gang involvement. However, police admit, it's a battle that's nearly impossible to win.
"We're not making any headway right now."
NEWSCHANNEL 13 contacted Fort Carson and talked with a spokesperson who directed us to the United States Army Pubic Affairs Office in Washington, D.C..
A spokesperson at the Pentagon, MAJ Nathan Banks, responded to our questions by writing; "Military personnel must reject participation in extremist organizations and activities - those that advocate racial, gender or ethic hatred, illegal discrimination or the use of force to deprive others of their Constitutional rights."The spokesperson continues to write; "We teach Soldiers and families about some of the over 13,700 gangs in America and some of the potential indicators to look for: use ofnarcotics, new clothing styles and colored bandanas, slang talk, gangster music hand-sign flashing and graffiti."

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