Gangs In Spokane Essay

Decent Essays
Gangs in Spokane – How bad is it and what can we do about it? In the summer of 1994, I found myself entangled in a lifestyle nobody had seen coming, not even me. I had gone from honor roll student to thug gangster in just a matter of a few months. Life had changed dramatically, from not ever having been in any real trouble, to having multiple run-ins with the law, and an entire police force in the city of Spokane with my picture and vehicle info on their clipboards. I was running with a local crip gang and before I knew it, was in way over my head and didn’t know how to get out. The judicial system wasn’t offering advice, the adults in my life didn’t know how to help, and no community resources were widely available to assist. I did eventually …show more content…
Knowing I had a better chance at finding some services in Spokane rather than North Idaho, I started my journey there. I went to many police websites, including that of the Spokane Police Department, Spokane Sheriff’s department, and the Washington State Patrol. I was shocked to not find any real assistance for youth outreach at these locations. As I expanded my search beyond law enforcement, I still could not locate any valuable community outreach programs for at-risk youth. The one resource which did keep popping up in my Internet searches was a website called “StopSpokaneGangs.Org”, a resource built by the local and federal law enforcement agencies in and around Spokane. To my dismay, the website only had a contact page to report graffiti and gang activity, no actual outreach programs or assistance to those looking to help kids in need. After reading through every link on the site, I came across a lone email address, which I contacted, seeking to learn more about the gang situation in the area. After three or four days, I was contacted by Officer Adam Valdez with the Spokane Police Department’s Spokane Regional Safe Streets Task Force, and he graciously accepted an invitation for an …show more content…
“These aren’t your old school crips and bloods anymore. There are new, smaller, more dangerous groups looking to take control of neighborhoods and local drug sales.” (Valdez, 2015) These 7,000 known gang members account for nearly 80% of all crime in Spokane County (SpokaneCares.org, 2015). These crimes include homicide, assaults, drug dealing, burglary, car theft, domestic violence and prostitution related offenses. “I have seen kids as young as 12 joining local gangs, and the average gang member is of middle school to high school age.” (Valdez,

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