3 What is a Gang? Ongoing organization, association, or group of five or more persons. The group must have common interest and/or activity characterized bythe commission of or involvement in a pattern ofcriminal activity or delinquent conduct.
4 Gang Task ForceThe mission of the Columbia Police Department Gang Unit is to provide the safest environment possible for the citizens of Columbia, by attacking the gang problem on many different levels. This specialized unit will strive to achieve its objectives by identifying gangs, gang members, and their associates, deterring crimes when possible, and educating the public. The unit is charged with investigating gang related crimes, identifying those responsible, and aggressively seeking the prosecution of those individuals.
5 Violent Gang and Terrorist Organization File VGTOFViolent Gang and Terrorist Organization FileOperated by NCICAn intelligence, investigative and officer safety tool that aids law enforcement in identifying members of violent gangs and terrorists
6 VGTOFVGTOF defines a gang as an ongoing organization, association or group of three or more persons who have common interests and activities characterized by involvement in a pattern of criminal or delinquent conduct.
7 Database is used to document Criminal Gang Members. SC GangNETRan by SLEDDatabase is used to document Criminal Gang Members.Like VGTOF it’s an investigative and intelligence tool for Law Enforcement officers in South Carolina
8 City of Columbia Police Dept. Gang Intelligence Sheets Along with entering documented Gang Members into SC GangNET and VGTOF the Gang Unit keeps Intel Sheets internally that all CPD officers can utilize.These Intel Sheets are created to organize the gang members and associates that the CPD officers come into contact with on a daily basis. These Intel Sheets include information on the subjects to include pictures of tattoos to assist officers in identifying these individuals.
9 BloodsThe primary colors used by Blood Gang members are Red, Green and BrownThe Bloods use the letter “B” as an identifierIn graffiti and writings Bloods will normally replace the letter “s” with a “5” – This stands for the 5 principles that are followed (Love, Life, Loyalty, Understanding and Knowledge)Many of the Bloods around the Columbia area belong to the United Blood Nation which is an East Coast Blood Gang that originated in Rikers Island.A common symbol used by United Blood Nation members are called “dog paws”The most prominent United BloodNation set in Columbia isGKB (Gangsta Killa Bloods)also known as G-Shine
11 Gangsta Disciples & Insane Gangsta Disciples The primary colors used by GD & IGD Gang members are Black, Blue and OrangeThe Gangsta Disciples were originated in ChicagoIn graffiti and writings Folks will normally replace the letter “b” with a “6” – One reason they do this is because “b” is used by blood members and the other is for the 6 Principles they believe in (Love, Life, Loyalty, Understanding, Knowledge and Wisdom)Many of the Folk Nation members around the Columbia area belong to Gangsta Disciples and Insane Gangsta DisciplesA common symbol used by Folk Nation Gang members are the Six Point Star and an upright Pitch ForkFolk Nation members will also use a three point crown which will signify the three kings (Larry Hoover, David Barksdale and Jerome Freeman)Folk Nation members use the Six Point star (Star of David) to honor David Barksdale
13 Crips The primary color used by Crip Gang members is Blue. Crip Gang Members use the letter “C” as an identifierCrip Members will also write “cc” instead of “ck” in words because “ck” is used by Blood members to show disrespect to Crips (Crip Killer)Crip members adopt some of Folk Nation’s symbolsThe Crip gang originated in Los Angeles, Ca and was started by Raymond Williams and Stanley WashingtonThe most prominent Crip set in the Columbia Area are Rollin’ 90s Crips
15 18th Street Gang The Gang uses “18” as an identifier They use the symbols XV3, XVIII, 666, (9+9=18) and the 3-dots in their graffiti and tattoosThe 3-dots used in this gangs graffiti and tattoos stands for “Mi Vida Loca” (My Crazy Life)This gang uses the colors black and blueThis gang uses the color blue to show respect to the Sureños. (Oldest group of Mexican American street gangs that operate in southern California)This gang originated inLos Angeles, CAA 18th Street set which we haveseen graffiti in the Columbia areafor are the West Side Locos
16 MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha) This gang originated in Los Angeles, CAThey also use the abbreviations of Mara and MS to identify themselvesCommon marking and tattoos for this gang include “MS”, “Salvatrucha” and the “Devil Horns”One of the gangs most common handsigns is the “Devils Head” which formsa “M” when displayed upside down
17 Hells AngelsA world wide outlaw motorcycle gang that operates as a major organized crime syndicateRalph “Sonny” Barger was the founder of the Oakland, CA Chapter and became the President of the Hells Angels. He is now retired however all decisions are still ran through him.The insignia for the Hells Angels is the “Death’s Head”The “1%” diamond shaped patch is thepatch used to show they are an outlaw motorcyclegang. This patch is used by all outlaw motorcyclegangsThe Hells Angels currently have runningChapters in Greenville, Charleston and Myrtle Beach
18 Warlocks A 1% Motorcycle Club that was formed in Darby, PA in 1967 They currently have 6 active chapters in SC (Columbia, Florence, Cherokee Co, Lee Co, Foothills and Lakewinds)The club's insignia is a Harpy, a legendary winged creature inGreek mythology, and their colorsare red and white.
19 GraffitiDocumentation of Graffiti is an essential part of what the Gang Unit does. Graffiti shows what gangs are active in neighborhoods around the city. Gangs also mark over each others graffiti to claim communities as well as to disrespect rival gangs.
23 TattoosThe documentation of tattoos on individuals is another important tool when dealing with gangs and identifying members of criminal gangs.In most cases when an individual decides to become involved in a gang it consumes their entire life and they proudly tattoo their body with gang related symbols and words to show membership.
26 Community EventsThe Gang Unit is available to attend community meetings and events to teach communities Gang Awareness.Teaching Gang Awareness to community members assists the Gang Unit in combating gang problems in communities by making citizens aware of what to look for to help spot a gang problem if it arises in a neighborhood.Attending meetings and events also helps the Gang Unit make community contacts which is vital in helping combat the Gang issues in the City of ColumbiaWithout the communities help addressing Gang problems becomes extremely difficult
27 SchoolsThe Gang Unit is available to assist School Resource Officers when issues with Gangs arise inside of schools.The Gang Unit also speaks with students about Gang Awareness in an attempt to keep as many children away from gangs as possibleThe Gang Unit is also availableto speak with and assist studentswho are in a gang and areattempting to get out.
28 S.C. Gang Prevention Act became effect on July 1, 2007 S.C. Gang LegislationS.C. Gang Prevention Act became effect on July 1, 2007The Gang Prevention Act provided Law Enforcement with statutes that defined a criminal gang, a criminal gang member, the pattern of criminal gang activity, which offenses could be used in gang prosecution and what a gang related incident is.The legislation also listed chargeable offenses in relation to gang activity.The Chargeable offenses made it unlawful to use or threaten to use physical violence against another person with the intent to make them participate in criminal gang activity or to prevent a person from withdrawing from a criminal gang.It also made it unlawful to use a firearm or other deadly weapon or physical violence while recruiting or to prevent a person from withdrawing from a gang.It also added three years to the recruiting punishment if the person being recruited is under the age of 18The last chargeable statute in the Gang Legislation made in unlawful to prevent or attempt to prevent a witness from giving testimony.