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Warning Signs

How can I tell?

All children are at risk to be recruited to join a gang, or are subject to being victimized by gang violence. Early warning signs that something is wrong include changes in a young person's behavior and attitudes. Other pre-gang and gang behavior include:

  • Withdrawal from participation in school, family life, church or other activities, compared to earlier behavior.
  • Changes in dress and color preferences.
  • Habitual lying and denial of problematic behavior.
  • Major attitude problems with parents, teachers or those in authority.
  • Changes in language, including use of gang slang and profanity, and use of hand signs.
  • Displays money and property that are beyond child's income, and is evasive about where the items came from.
  • Use of drugs and/or alcohol.
  • New friends, possibly fewer friends, that have a negative influence.
  • School grades drop, truancies increase and discipline problems become more frequent.
  • Appearance of different looking graffiti and gang related writing on school books, clothing and other personal items.
  • Carrying or possessing weapons, such as a gun, knife, screwdriver, bat or club. Unable to identify the owners of these weapons.
  • Gang-related tattoos (initials, names, numbers), burn marks in a pattern, or use of markers to make temporary tattoos on hands, arms, legs, and other parts of the body.

If you have a question or concern about gang activity in Kosciusko County, contact Det. Sgt. Ronald Nethaway at the Warsaw Police Department, 574-372-9515.

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