Gangs

New homes are going up everyday. There's a population explosion but unfortunately, with the good comes the bad an alarming rise in gang activity. Belvidere Police Chief Jan Noble says “They are not wanted. The community has no place for them to be here." The four gangs in Belvidere like to use concrete as there personal canvas marking their territory like dogs. But Chief Noble says the city doesn't offer free advertising. “The sooner something gets on the sooner it comes off the better.” He says gangs use drugs and intimidation to get what they want. “Gangs have this desire for profit greed and power and we know if we can shutdown one of those three we can make an overall difference." And the police department is sending a clear message. You're not wanted. Noble says “The gang intervention unit is out there. We're on foot. We're on bike. We're on roof tops of buildings. We are doing whatever it takes to make sure we have eyes and ears out there." That includes the schools were gangs like to recruit. The department has put an officer there. Noble says “The trust that comes between a student and officer has come back to the department ten fold” And you never know when that relationship might save a life. "Because that one student who tips the officer on something that's about to happen or that will happen. How do you put a place on that?" But noble says stopping gangs takes more than police. It takes parents. "Parents know where your children are at. Know who the friends and who they hang with and probably most importantly take time to sit down and listen." The gangs prey heavily on kids with low self-esteem. So noble says parents don't be afraid to give your kids a pat on the back when the do something well. Noble says, "Maybe that pat on the back could very well be the one thing that keeps them in the home atmosphere as opposed to a gang." Noble is organizing his own gang. One filled with police, parents and politicians. Combined he says his gangs a lot stronger then there's. "One of the best tools we have as a police department is the strength that comes from the people who live in our town."


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