By Sergeant Rocco J. Lepore, Supervisor, Gang Special Investigations Unit, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Detention Services Division, Las Vegas (Clark County), Nevada
Most jails across the U.S. have a proven or potential need to recognize security threat group members and gang activity in the jail. In this article, a nationally recognized STG trainer shares experiences and strategies from a region with a high level of gang involvement among its jail inmates. Aspects of the Las Vegas/Clark County approach include Gang Unit officer specialization, line and classification officer training, management system data and reporting tools, special classification and housing policies, a focused effort to identify gang-involved inmates, and linkages with outside law enforcement intelligence.
The jail relies on line and classification officers who are aware, informed, and sensitive to visual and behavioral cues and housing unit dynamics. Supplemental intelligence from law enforcement in nearby states and beyond is used to validate jail inmates’ prior involvement with prison gangs, which triggers special classification status.
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