Crimes in our city have recently seen a surge, and my team of officers were called in to try and identify the source and maintain order. What we discovered was there was a gang who felt that their area was being moved in on by a rival gang, so they lashed out the only way that they could. Night after night, there were robberies, car thefts, and violent attacks on residents, all in an effort to take back control of their turf. We needed to step in and get back control quickly.
The biggest issue me and my fellow officers have when it comes to dealing with gangs is that you get little information by way of informants or from family. The family and friends are all associated with the gangs, and strangers will not say anything for fear their own families will be the next target of the violence. This limits our ability to get solid information, so we have to try and use other sources to help us to close the gap on the violence taking place.
We headed to the local prison because of the huge population of gang members currently there. We knew we would not get anywhere questioning these gang members because they all live by a strict code, but we did have that ace up our sleeve. Securus Technologies installed their inmate telephone call monitoring system in this jail, and allows officers to be able to listen to all calls and identify chatter on multiple subjects. The company is based out of Dallas, and has these units inside thousands of jails around the country. We were going to get these members to talk, they just didn’t realize it.
After talking to them about how gang members on the street helped, the ones in jail ran to the phones to complain and reveal details we didn’t know. By feeding them misinformation, we got the information we really wanted now.