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Crime and Courts

WPD Sends Letters To Parents Of Children On Gang List

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Ark Valley Fire Buff
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flickr Creative Commons

The Wichita Police Department is reaching out to parents and guardians whose kids are involved in gangs.

Letters went out earlier this week alerting parents that their children are on the city’s list of documented gang members.

Lt. Jeff Gilmore, with the WPD’s gang unit, said they sent a total of 74 letters.

“We’re asking the parents and or guardians of these juveniles to please contact us," he said at a press briefing Thursday. "We would like the opportunity to sit down with them. We could like the opportunity to explain why their child has been documented as a gang member in the community. We would also like to explain how they can no longer be a documented gang member in the community.”

The WPD considers someone a gang member if they admit to membership, or if they meet at least 3 points from a 10-point list of criteria—such as if the person has adopted a gang’s style of dress or tattoos, or hangs out in a particular gang’s area.

"By doing this and working with the community, we can help some youth in our community make better decisions in the path they're taking in their life," Gilmore said.

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