Chino Police Department

The Chino Police Department takes an aggressive stance on gang suppression. The Gang Investigations Unit currently consists of two investigators who are highly trained in this area of law enforcement. The gang unit's primary functions are to investigate gang-related crimes, identify known gang members within the City of Chino, obtain intelligence information related to gangs, and suppress gang activity.

If you would like more information on the Gang Unit, please call, (909) 334-3138 or (909) 334-3127.

Click on the topics below to learn more.

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      Early Warning Signs of Gang Involvement

      Gang involvement can begin as early as elementary school. Children as young as seven or eight years of age have been recruited to work in criminal street gangs.

      • Experimental drug use
      • Decline in school grades
      • Truancy
      • Unwillingness to attend family gatherings or share regular meals
      • Change of friends
      • Rebellious behavior at school and home
      • Poor family bonding
      • Keeping late hours
      • Having large sums of money or new expensive items which cannot be explained.
      • Gang graffiti in their bedroom on items such as books, posters and bedroom walls
      • Wearing gang clothing or gang colors.
      • Excessive swearing or cursing
      • Using hand signals to communicate with "friends", other gang members
      • Having photos showing gang names, gang slogans, gang insignia or gang activities
      • Disclosure of gang membership
      • Witnesses connecting the young person to gang activity
      • Initiation activities – "rites of passage"
      • Contact with law enforcement and/or probation officers
      • May carry hidden weapons
      • Adopting a defiant attitude toward authority figures, (may be expressed by violent behavior at school or home)
      • Wearing gang clothing
      • Lacking motivation and having no future aspirations
      • Fighting others to gain a reputation of being "bad"




       Identifying Gang Members:

      Most gang members are proud of their gang and freely admit their membership. Many display tattoos openly and dress in a style identifying their particular gang. Their personal belongings are frequently covered with graffiti and bear the gang’s logo and the member’s gang name.

      Many individuals on the fringe of gang involvement are reluctant to identify themselves as gang members. They often state that their friends are gang members but they are not. However, rival gang members, shooting from a speeding car, do not make a distinction between a gang member and his associates.




      Gangs use graffiti to identify themselves and mark their gang’s "turf" or territory. They also use it to advertise the gang’s status or power and to declare their own allegiance to the gang. The graffiti may include the gang’s name, a member’s nickname, a declaration of loyalty, and threats against rival gangs or a description of criminal acts in which the gang has been involved.

      Gangs frequently gather in dark areas to avoid being seen. In these locations they will often drink, use narcotics, and deface property with graffiti.



      How Gangs Thrive:

      Gangs thrive on intimidation and notoriety. They find violence not only glamorous but also necessary in establishing their reputation as a gang to be feared. Gang activities are designed to entice many youths to view drinking, drug use, creating disorder, and vandalizing property as a form of fun. Partying, getting high, bullying people, and robbing designated targets are just part of the merriment and amusement. In essence, pro-gang attitudes are related to breaking the law.



      Why Young Kids Join Gangs:

      Gang members join a gang by either committing a crime or undergoing an initiation procedure wherein they are beaten by fellow gang members to test their courage and fighting ability. Their motivations for joining the gang are varied, but usually fall within one of the following:

      • Identity or Recognition - Being part of a gang allows the gang member to achieve a level of status he/she feels impossible outside the gang culture.
      • Protection - many members join because they live in the gang area and are, therefore, subject to violence by rival gangs. Joining guarantees support in case of attack and retaliation for transgressions.
      • Fellowship and Brotherhood - To the majority of gang members, the gang functions as an extension of the family and may provide companionship lacking in the gang member’s home environment. Many older brothers and relatives belong, or have belonged to the gang.
      • Intimidation - Some members are forced to join if their membership will contribute to the gang’s criminal activity. Some join to intimidate others in the community not involved in gang activity.
      • Criminal Activity - Some join a gang to engage in narcotics activity and benefit from the group’s profits and protection.

      Unfortunately, few youths realize the hazards associated with gang involvement. In many cases, parents are unaware of their children’s gang activity and are unable to intervene until it’s too late.



      The Effects of Gang Involvement:

      Gang membership exacts a terrible toll from the lives of all who contact the member. Parents and relatives of gang members live in a double fear; for their own safety and that of the other non-gang family members and, a fear for the survival of their gang member relative.

      Non-gang member friends are cast aside and soon the youth’s only friends are gang members.

      Gang membership, although a temporary phase for some youths, will shape the individual’s future. All levels of formal education are discarded because they counter the gangs’ objectives. Gang members not killed or seriously injured often develop patterns of alcohol and narcotics abuse, and extensive police records that will limit their employment opportunities.



      Prevention: What You and Your Neighbors Can Do:

      The first and most important step is to become aware of gangs, gang members, and their activities. Individuals armed with this basic knowledge are better able to avoid becoming victims of a gang attack.

      Prevention is the key to controlling gang activity. Gangs attempt to instill fear. They intimidate rivals and citizens alike. The gang’s power grows through the use of fear and intimidation. They can be countered by citizen action groups such as the Neighborhood Watch program. A neighborhood that is united and dedicated in a spirit of cooperation toward stopping crime and violence will greatly hamper gang efforts to flourish. Everyone has the responsibility to overcome apathy and fear. We must work toward a solution to the gang problem.

      Parents and educators who suspect gang activity should:

      • Talk to the child or teenager and discuss the consequences of being in a gang
      • Talk to school officials and counselors inquiring if they are aware of campus problems and if there are any school programs that might help
      • Contact government agencies such as your local law enforcement agency or juvenile authority. They may have a crime prevention or gang specialist who can give you valuable guidance. Seek advice from religious leaders. They may know of programs that help neighborhood children stay out of gangs
      • Report and immediately remove any graffiti in your neighborhood or local school grounds. The longer it remains, the more it attracts gang members
      • Take action – this is the most important step you can take as an individual, a group or an organization. Do not ignore the signs of gang activity.

      When gang related incidents occur, cooperate with authorities. Your help and cooperation may prevent others from becoming victims of gang violence. The Chino Police Department has a number of highly trained Police Officers and enforcement specialiststhat can help your family or neighborhood fight gang activity. Its crime prevention or gang specialists can help your neighborhood plan ways to fight gang activity. They can help you organize:

      • A Neighborhood Watch in your neighborhood
      • An intervention program for a young person at risk or involved in gang activity

      Other alternatives to gang involvement include locations where organized and supervised programs are offered. The following suggestions may provide a starting point for concerned parents:


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