By: Lou Savelli
As our borders receive more scrutiny and terrorists develop stronger partnerships with gang members, criminal adversaries become more adept at countering law enforcement and military tactics. In light of the more prevalent threat from 'homegrown' terrorists, these adversaries may even come from within our own ranks or simply have an intricate knowledge of our tactics. American gang members, foreign terrorists and domestic extremists have been excessively infiltrating the ranks of our military for decades and, to a much lesser degree, the ranks of our law enforcement community. This exposure to 'tactical' experience and intricate knowledge lends itself to bringing enemy combatants, whether gang members, terrorists or extremists, a step closer and more capable of defeating our tactical efforts.
Over the years, I have investigated or learned about many individuals who were actually gang members, extremists or terrorists who have been privy to military and law enforcement tactical information and training. These infiltrators were able to observe military or law enforcement tactics first hand, putting them to use against us. These examples show the deadly potential posed by gangs and terrorists. Here are just a few:
To better prepare our law enforcement and military to counter potential dangerous situations, we should establish and follow some additional administrative and operational guidelines. These guidelines are especially important for tactical and specialized units like SWAT, Narcotics and Gangs. These simple, but effective, procedures will help protect the integrity of the unit’s tactics and contribute to the safety of its members during tactical operations:
By: Lou Savelli
Gang intelligence is the foundation of every gang case. Reports are the building blocks of the case structure. Each report, regardless of the type, will add another block of information to the overall case. While all reports can be useful, here are some of the most commonly utilized and valuable reports to document gang activity or compile information on a gang and its members:
Any report that can document a gang member’s actions, whereabouts, and associations can prove extremely useful in a gang investigation. For example, a violent street gang member we were attempting to tie into a conspiracy case was adamant he never drove a black Honda sedan like the vehicle used in a recent drive-by shooting in which four people were shot and two were killed. After a search of parking tickets around his residence, we determined the same type of vehicle was being tagged by the precinct summons officer. A careful check of the gang member’s driving record showed him being issued a red light ticket several months prior while driving a black Honda sedan.
Furthermore, the owner of the Honda was identified and placed in a photo array in front of witnesses to the shooting. While the witnesses could not identify our original target gang member, they did identify the owner of the car as the driver of the Honda on the day of the shooting. The driver, after being arrested, gave up our target gang member as the shooter.
Few effective gang cases, or other cases for that matter, were ever made without the use of paperwork. As tedious as it can be, paperwork is an investigator’s friend.
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