Gangs: Who's Targeted & Why - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Gangs: Who's Targeted & Why

Corporal Steve Powers, APD Gang Unit Corporal Steve Powers, APD Gang Unit

Gang recruitments are at their peak during the summer months, according to Amarillo gang investigators. They are working to lure children into the life of drugs,guns and crime. There are more than 12-million people joining gangs yearly and close to a million of those are kids. Some of those kids are being recruited right here in Amarillo.

Just like any other organization gangs need new blood and those targets can be your kids, which are elementary and middle school aged children.

Corporal Steve Powers with the Amarillo Gang Unit says every area in Amarillo is susceptible to gangs. "It's a misnomer certain types of kids join gangs. It goes across all racial boundaries all economics all neighborhoods in Amarillo," Powers explains. 

Gang investigators say the beginning and end of the school year are the worst because gangs are on the prowl for potential members. They say the reason it is so easy for gangs to recruit children is the self-esteem. Powers says, "If you remember yourself, you wanted to belong. It just killed if people didn't pay attention to you."

"They're looking for someone to be a follower and take orders. Give up all rights to their life. Let gang leaders dictate everything," Powers said.

Everything, in the end, is what you can lose joining a gang no matter what age. "You'll end up dead or in prison. If you go down this road by the time you're 25," Powers said.

Summer is not only the prime time for recruitment. It is also a peak time for rival gang fights and crime.

We'll continue our in-depth report, bringing you more insight into the gangs and what parents need to look out for if you think your child is involved in a gang... on Tuesday at ten. 

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