National Drug Intelligence Center
Attorney General's Report to Congress on the Growth of Violent Street Gangs in Suburban Areas
At the request of the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Appropriations, in reference to Commerce, Justice, Science, and related Agencies Appropriations Bill 2008 (H. Rept. No. 110-240, July 19, 2007), the U.S. Attorney General was requested to prepare a report on the growth of violent street gangs in suburban areas. The report was to address the types of gangs, the regions where they operate, and gangs' relationships with DTOs. The committee requested that the report be delivered no later than April 1, 2008. The U.S. Department of Justice tasked the National Drug Intelligence Center with providing substantive gang-related information for the report. Sources for this information included the NDIC 2007 NDTS; NDIC Field Program Specialist (FPS) Intelligence Reports (IRs); federal, state, and local law enforcement reporting; intelligence community reporting; open source reporting; and personal interviews of law enforcement officials by NDIC intelligence analysts.
An urban area is defined as a Census Block Group with a density greater than or equal to 2,000 people per square mile, a place that has a total population greater than or equal to 100,000 people and a density greater than or equal to 2,000 people per square mile, or a place that has a total population greater than or equal to 200,000 people. A suburban area is defined as a Census Block Group no more than 30 miles from urban areas or a Census Block Group with a density greater than or equal to 500 people per square mile and less than 2,000 people per square mile. A rural area is defined as a Census Block Group with a density less than 500 people per square mile.
NDIC administers its annual NDTS to a probability-based sample of 3,469 state and local law enforcement agencies, designed to represent all national, regional, and state agencies, and uses the survey data in its threat assessments. Since 2003, the survey response rate has been close to 90 percent or higher. Agencies are asked to identify the drug that poses the greatest threat, the drug that most contributes to violent and property crime, the level of gang involvement in drug distribution, and the number of gangs and gang members in their jurisdictions. Agencies also are asked if gang-related drug distribution has increased or decreased in their jurisdictions.
During preparation of this report, NDIC intelligence analysts met with officials from suburban law enforcement agencies throughout the United States to collect information on violent street gang activity in suburban communities. Over 100 law enforcement agencies provided information through these interviews.
The NDIC FPS program was created to increase the flow of strategic and current domestic drug intelligence from local and state law enforcement agencies to NDIC and other counterdrug agencies. The FPS program is staffed by retired law enforcement officers, each of whom has approximately 25 years experience. FPSs often work closely with law enforcement agencies within their assigned regions, enabling them to rapidly query state and local officials for information that is not readily available to counterdrug agencies. FPSs also collect information from health and treatment providers, coroners, educators, and corrections authorities. For this report, more than 400 FPS Information Reports from state and local law enforcement agencies were analyzed and cross-referenced to identify national and regional trends in gang-related activity. In addition, these reports were used to validate information collected through the NDTS and law enforcement interviews.
To Top To Contents To Previous Page To Appendix B
To Department of Justice Home Page
End of page.