Can you spot a gang symbol?

9:53 AM, May 2, 2013   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO - Your child may be hanging around the wrong crowd, and you may not even know it. As a parent, would you know what to look out for if your child was affiliated with a gang?

Sacramento Sheriff's Department Gang Unit Sgt. Jamin Martinez said there are more than 300 documented gangs in Northern California, and that number is growing. In Sacramento, the Surenos and Nortenos are two of most active gangs.

"This is so much bigger than just something that the cops can deal with. It's a societal problem," Martinez said. "It starts with mom and dad; it starts with parents being parents."

You're probably aware of the tattoos and designated colors, but not all signs are that obvious.

News10 showed parents images of a hat with the letters "SK" embroidered in the front. At first glance, some parents passed it off as being a Sacramento Kings hat, but when Norteno gang members wear the hat, it could imply "Sureno Killers."

The number 14 and the Roman numeral XIV stands for the 14th letter of the Alphabet - N for Norteno. Often, Nortenos will cross out the letter S because of their Sureno rivals. The "Huelga bird" is also symbol of Nortenos. It's a sign of the Mexican-American labor movement.

On the Surenos side, the 13th letter of the Alphabet - M pays allegiance to the Mexican Mafia. Also, a grouping of four dots in a drawing or in graffiti implies Norteno affiliation, while three dots together are often affiliated with the Surenos.

"You take their families and lock them up in jail, all they have is their friends on the street who have had the same things happen to them," said a man living in a south Sacramento neighborhood.

In addition to the clothes, colors and hats, parents should also monitor their kids' social media profiles.

Martinez said net banging is becoming more popular - that's where gang members are posting videos on Youtube, or written threats on Twitter and Facebook.

Martinez said his department is working hard to curb gang violence, but the problem will continue as long as parents turn a blind eye.

"It's time to be a parent and move that stuff away and get them out of that lifestyle," Martinez explained.

Below is a list of outreach programs that parents can take advantage of:

Gang Prevention and Intervention
Organization Contact Number /Web-site Types of Services
Another Choice Another Chance (916) 361-2089 Gang intervention/ substance abuse prevention/ education/ treatment
The Effort (916) 325-5556 Gang intervention/ substance abuse prevention/ education/ treatment
La Familia (916) 452-3601 Gang intervention/ substance abuse prevention/ education/ treatment
Strategies for Change (916) 473-5764 Gang intervention/ substance abuse prevention/ education/ treatment
Gang Violence Suppression Unit Police/Probation 277-6300 x1067 Provides presentations on gang violence prevention and dealing with youth and gangs.
Sacramento Urban League (916) 286-8601 Youth employment and life skills program. Educational and vocational training.
People Reaching Out 916-576-3300 Educational support and substance abuse prevention and case management.
Asian Resources (916) 454-1892 Employment training program
Sacramento Boys and Girls Club (916)392.1350 Vocational training/academic enrichment/after school program
Mutual Assistance Network (916) 927-7694 Vocational training/academic enrichment/leadership development
Roberts Family Center (916) 646-6631 After school program/gang prevention
California Gang Violence Prevention Services (916) 379-9201 Gang violence prevention services
Anti-Gang Enforcement
Organization Contact Number /Web-site Types of Services
Sacramento Police Department Non-Emergency: (916) 264-5471 Emergency: (913) 732-0100 Gang intervention/ substance abuse prevention/ education/ treatment
District Attorney's Office (916) 874-6218 Validation information
Gang Validation Program Shannon Price: (916) 804-1739 Helps kids who are at risk of being validated as gang members
Mentoring Programs and Employment Training Programs
Organization Contact Number /Web-site Types of Services
Sacramento Mentoring Partnership (916) 576-3300 ext. 326 Collaborative of "best practice" mentoring programs in the Sacramento region
Sacramento Employment and Training Agency (916) 263-3800 Leader of Sacramento's One Stop Career Center network
Sacramento 211 211 Information line for community services and resources
Christina DeMoss (916) 808-6111 Resource coordinator for the City of Sacramento Office of Youth Development.


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