COLUMBUS, Ga. — The Columbus Police Department has rounded up more than two dozen alleged gang members connected to a slew of various crimes.
Back on September 6th, 14 suspects were arrested, charges included aggravated assault felon in possession of a fire arm, cruelty to children, and violation of parole, probation and drugs.
Wednesday the Columbus Police Department announced twelve more arrests. Eight adults, two children who are 16-years-old, a 14-year-old, and a 12-year-old were among those arrested in connection to 33 residential burglaries, 7 auto thefts, and one burglary second degree.
There are four main gangs in Columbus. They include the Bloods, Cripps, and the Gangster Disciples. The fourth gang is unnamed.
Gangster disciples is known to be the largest gang in Columbus, according to News 3’s partner The Ledger Enquirer.
Columbus Marshal Greg Countryman believes it’s important for the community to get down to the root of the problem, so that kids young as 12 don’t join gangs.
“We have to understand anytime a child is idol things can happen and it happened to me when I was younger.It’s not to see the worst in every child but to sometimes see the best and to understand that there has to be a solution to everything that we do”, said Greg Countryman, Muscogee County Marshal.
Below are a few things parents should look out for to make sure their child isn’t involved in gang activity.
- Special colors- The National Gang Center says gangs use a specific color to identify themselves.
- Hand signs- The NGC says some gangs use specific hand gestures and hand shakes to communicate.
- Monitor social media- Websites such as Facebook and Instagram are now being used as a new medium of gang communication.
If you know your child is apart of a gang, the National Gang Center say’s it’s important that you talk to your child about the negative consequences of gang behaviors.
Here’s how you can help your children.
- Be sure that you disapprove of gangs.
- Get to know your child’s friends and the friend’s parents.
- Familiarize yourself with the internet, popular slang terms and your child’s online content.
- Set firm limits for your child.
- Talk to your child about ways to deal with pressure from friends.
- Plan family time.