Gang Related: Part 3

By: Tamara Evans Email
By: Tamara Evans Email

Inside area jails you'll more than likely find someone who is involved in a gang.

"We actually refer to them as a security threat group, or STG," Chris Eaton said.

Eaton is the Chief Deputy at the Warren County Regional Jail. He said there are several ways they monitor and track gangs.

It all begins once the inmate is first brought into the facility.

"It could be clothing. It could be tatoos, signs, things that they have on them that we can identify with different security threat groups. From there we maintain a database. The Kentucky Department of Corrections has an extensive tracking network for security threat groups. If we can validate that that person is part of a security threat group then the process will take another step for how we deal with them," Eaton said.

One way they deal with these gang members are to not house them in the same areas.

"Certain groups at certain times are on bad terms with each other and those are things we definitely want to be aware of," Eaton said.

The facility houses federal inmates that can come from anywhere around the country.

This means gang members from other areas who are housed here can influence other inmates.

"He tries to take local people and use his influence from other places and tries to bring them in to his gang where they can expand the gang in this area," Eaton said.

And when they are released that impacts our community.

Matt Edwards is a police officer at the Bowling Green Police Department. He is sent to at least one training a year to be prepared for the gang situation in the city.

"I have talked to alot of other departments, bigger departments than ours, and meet with them about how they handle gang situations and if there's something i'm not familare with I usually call the surrounding agencies," Edwards said.

Like Eaton there are things that Edwards looks for when dealing with gangs.

"I look for graffiti. I'm trained to look at what people are wearing. Alot of times gangs wear certain clothes with numbers, sometimes certain colors.Certain tatoos are another indicator of people being in gangs and things like that," Edwards said.

He says the police department is always trying to keep a handle on the gang situation.

"Cause the communities always going to be changing and we've always to to take care of the problem before they fester and get worse," Edwards said.

Eaton said in the jail he has already seen an increase over the years.

"Actually, within the past couple of years there's probably been a dramatic increase. It didn't used to be as large of a problem. We had a few people we kept track of. Now, it's surprising the people that's involved with these groups," Eaton said.

Eaton also said while working at the jail for the past twelve years, in most cases, he hasn't had an inmate express an interest to want to try and get out of their gang.

He has seen inmates however, actively recruiting for their gang inside the jail, which he said can cause problems for the inmates who don't want to be involved.


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