Gang Involvement: Signs and Indicators

Signs and Indicators of Gang Membership:

The Leon County Sheriff's Office and the Tallahassee Police Department say you can watch out for these signs:

    *Admits to gang membership
    *Is obsessed with one color or shows desire for a particular logo over and over
    *Initiation marks-scratches or marks on the arms or hands, usually in a pattern
    *Haircuts-long or short hair with strips or patterns
    *Wears excessive jewelry with distinctive designs and may wear it only on either the right or left side of the body
    *Develops an unusual desire for privacy and secrecy and may completely rearrange living quarters to create more privacy
    *A change in normal language patterns
    *Use of hand signs to communicate with other youths
    *Sudden possession of large amounts of cash or material possessions they cannot account for
    *Breaking curfew-coming home late due to meetings or fights
    *Never home-gangs always have activities planned. Youth will usually lie about where they have been
    *New friends not introduced to parents. Friends referring to the youth by an usual nickname the youth will not explain
    *Failing school grades, skipping classes, not attending school
    *Disobeys or challenges authority figures
    *Peculiar drawings of language on books, notebooks, walls. Usually hard to decipher and characterized by crossed out, upside down letters and symbols

Parents with concerns can place a confidential call for advice to Investigator Derek Friend with the Tallahassee Police Department at (850) 891-4200 or Detective Grady Jordan with the Leon County Sheriff's Office at (850) 922-3300.