Girl Gang Surge

A growing number of girls are joining the boys, trying to stake claims and colors... Gang colors.

Nationwide, the number of girl gangs has doubled over the past few years. Locally, police see a surge of female gang members in Amarillo.

The tradition of girls and their involvement in gangs is evolving, according to Amarillo police. Corporal Steve Powers explains how things have changed, " Traditionally, females are used as property. Either to further the existence of gangs or carry stolen property".

Cpl. Powers says the position of mule and producer has changed. Females are branching out on their own forming "girl only" gangs. "In the past few years we've seen the girl female gangs move up in their own and forming their own gang sets and gang membership," he said.

According to a nationwide study, drug crime is the most common offense committed by girl gang members. Their gender is one reason police say females are being targeted as gang members.  Corporal Powers says, "Gang members know that officers are not likely to search a female as they would male gang members".

Police are trying to beat gangs at their game by recruiting female officers to help with gang patrols.  They say the recruitment for female members start as early as 12-years-old. Gangs target girls because of the young age and their need to belong.