Gang members on rise in Pine Bluff

Gang members on rise in Pine Bluff

Gang members in Pine Bluff are making their presence known. They are claiming parts of the city, marking it as their territory. Police officers and home owners are forming their own alliance to fight off crime.
Gang members in Pine Bluff are making their presence known. They are claiming parts of the city, marking it as their territory. Police officers and home owners are forming their own alliance to fight off crime.

"Here as of late, we've seen an increase in graffiti and tagging," says Officer Jerry Lambert, Gang Intelligence Investigator. Once we see the graffiti, that's a sign the gangs are there."

"You have the black disciples graffiti. It's a pitchfork, six point star, the 360, you have the shorty up top, which is significant to shorty friend," explains Lambert.

After a short disappearance, gang activity is on the rise in Pine Bluff. One reason is the older gang members are now getting out of prison.

"They're trying to claim their turf. And they're doing a lot of recruiting right now," says Lambert.

They are recruiting boys as young as nine years old.

Years ago, gang members wore designated colors. Blue for crip, red for blood. The trend stopped but officers say it's making a comeback.

"Right here, you have a six point star which is an emblem the disciple gangsters use," explains Lambert.

When you see a name crossed out, it means that person is dead or soon will be.

"If a gang member is killed by another gang member you can almost bet there will be some type of retaliation," says Lambert.

You can also bet police officers are out to stop it. The Gang Intelligence Unit is speaking at schools, churches, and neighborhood watch associations.

"We're on top of it. It won't be tolerated and our goal is your safety and well being," says Lambert.

And to gang members Lambert says, "You're cutting your life short, you're going to be dead or in the prison system."

They hope both messages sink in.

City workers and local businesses are donating paint and supplies to get rid of graffiti. And just a helpful tip to residents, if you see a pair of sneakers thrown over a power line, that's a gang marking its territory.
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