Local authorities taking action against growing gang population - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Local authorities taking action against growing gang population

Posted: Updated:

Amarillo, TX - It's a growing population that's linked to a large portion of crimes in our area.

More is being done to keep our community safer from gangs.

Texas is working to better fight violent criminal gangs more than ever.

Programs are being set up inside and outside of state jail to help.

We spoke to members of the Aryan Circle, one of the fastest growing groups to sweep West Texas.

Local authorities are doing more to put a stop to them and many others.

"Amarillo, it's a bad place because we are drug central," says "Shaggy," Aryan Circle. 

The capital of methamphetamines," says "Tatt2 RayRay," Aryan Circle.

"It's because of I-40, that is a major narcotics trafficking route across the United States. You go from coast to coast and that is a big reason why that kind of drug trafficking takes place in our area," says John Adams, senior warden, Clements Unit.

Which is why our area is so heavily populated with gangs.

"With the numbers of growth in our city, we see the numbers of gangs grow," says Cpl. Steve Powers, Amarillo Police Department.

"You're right in the middle of Bill Clements, that's a very gang populated penitentiary. Bill Clements is smack right there in the middle of Amarillo, that's where you've got your big timers," says "Tatt2 RayRay," Aryan Circle.

Although some say they are not a gang and don't start trouble...

"It's the public that thinks we're just this security threat group, these terrorists that go around with nooses and hanging people from trees but that's not true. We actually have families and lives and careers," says "Tatt2 RayRay," Aryan Circle.

Authorities say otherwise.

"They're involved with contraband trafficking into the institution," says John Adams, senior warden, Clements Unit.

"They pose a risk to any community they're in, just because of the types of activity that they're into and that's crime," says Cpl. Steve Powers, Amarillo Police Department.

Now more is being done inside state facilities that way when offenders are released, they're more productive in the community.

"We have education courses, we have a lot of inmates that come in and do not have GED's and when they get out they have GED's. We also have vocational programs so they can learn a trade, whether it be working on cars, plumbing or electricity," says John Adams, senior warden, Clements Unit.

Mentors are brought in to teach them how to become better individuals.

The re-entry, reintegration program allows offenders to continue being prescribed medication, besides being set up with a job and a place to live.

"TDCJ works hard so when they get out of here, they at least have a chance for success," says John Adams, senior warden, Clements Unit. 

"When we know there's going to be trouble at a park, we'll add extra patrol in that area just to make sure we have it covered and to stop it from ever occurring," says Cpl. Steve Powers, Amarillo Police Department.

"I want to be able to walk down the street and not be messed with by the law," says "Tatt2 RayRay," Aryan Circle.

They say all they want is brotherhood.

"That's the four-side of our diamond; solidarity, loyalty, dedication, and brotherhood. It's all right there," says "Tatt2 RayRay," Aryan Circle.

Authorities say all they want is to keep residents safe and crime down.

"There's a lot of people working every day to try to ensure that when these offenders get out, they'll be better neighbors to us. We all understand that when they do get out, they will be our neighbors," says John Adams, senior warden, Clements Unit.

Maybe we can make a dent in them and with our programs we're working with, make a difference in our community," says Cpl. Steve Powers, Amarillo Police Department.