11-22-2017  11:37 pm      •     
MLK Breakfast
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NEWS BRIEFS

Kenton Library Hosts African American Genealogy Event Dec. 2

Stephen Hanks to present on genealogy resources and methods ...

PSU Hires New Police Chief

Donnell Tanksley brings policing philosophy rooted in community engagement to PSU ...

African American Portraits Exhibit at PAM Ends Dec. 29

Towards the end of its six month run, exhibit conveys the Black experience, late 1800s - 1990s ...

SEI, Sunshine Division Offer Thanksgiving Meals to Families in Need

Turkeys are being provided to fill 200 Thanksgiving food boxes for SEI families ...

NAACP Portland Monthly Meeting Nov. 18

Monthly general membership meeting takes place on Saturday, 12 - 2 p.m. ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Black Celebrities, Athletes and Politicians Must Respect the Black Press

Rosetta Miller-Perry discusses how Black celebrities snub the Black Press when they get “discovered” by the mainstream media ...

Local Author Visits North Portland Library

Renee Watson teaches students and educators about the power of writing ...

Is the FBI’s New Focus on “Black Identity Extremists” the New COINTELPRO?

Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.) talks about the FBI’s misguided report on “Black Identity Extremism” and negative Facebook ads. ...

ACA Enrollment Surging, Even Though It Ends Dec. 15

NNPA contributing writer Cash Michaels writes about enrollment efforts ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

The Associated Press

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- Gangs in Wichita are changing the way they operate, occasionally collaborating, creating challenges for officers trying to investigate crimes and diffuse tensions between rivals, according to Wichita police.

Members of rival gangs are sometimes joining forces, creating what police call hybrid gangs. And groups that police thought were allies are fighting each other, The Wichita Eagle reported (http://bit.ly/LBZQLm ).

In the past, gang members would be severely punished if they associated with members of rival gangs, said Lt. Scott Heimerman, head of the Wichita Police Department's gang and felony assault unit.

``It's very strange,'' Heimerman said of the new gang affiliations.

The hybrid gangs usually form to accomplish a specific goal, whether it's a crime or just going to the movies together. Then they disband, said Detective Chad Beard.

Keeping up with the changing alliances is a challenge but it is important to help keep peace in the city, Heimerman said.

More than once recently, gang leaders have assumed a violent act was the work of a rival gang but later learned it was committed by a subset within their own group.

``You have to sit down (with them) and say, `Don't start a gang war. This was some of your own people that did this,''' Heimerman said.

Heimerman considers hybrid gangs a natural evolution of the social structure and said police have to keep up.

``Just as the gangs are evolving, we have to learn and do the same,'' he said. ``If we're not on the forefront, and paying attention to these changes, we end up back with what we had in the late 1980s or early '90s.''

In those decades, the city experienced an explosion of drive-by shootings _ more than 300 a year at one point in the 1990s _ and homicide totals more than double those recorded in recent years.

``We were way behind the curve,'' Heimerman said. ``We didn't pay enough attention to it.''

David Gilkey, a gang prevention specialist with the Urban League of Kansas, said hybrid gangs might be the result of gang members' social connections, such as going to school together or living on the same street.

Hybrid gangs also are more likely in smaller cities like Wichita than in big gang areas such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, he said, because gangs control entire neighborhoods in bigger cities, while in Wichita the boundaries are more flexible.

Wichita has an estimated 3,000 gang members, though that number includes fringe members and those in jail, police said.

 

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