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CRASH and burn: abatement of a specialised gang unit

Matthew Valasik (Department of Sociology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA)
Shannon E. Reid (Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA)
Matthew D. Phillips (Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA)

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice

ISSN: 2056-3841

Article publication date: 13 June 2016

72

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of the temporary disbandment of a gang unit on collecting gang intelligence and arresting gang members in one of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Community Policing Areas.

Design/methodology/approach

An interrupted time series methodology (ARIMA) is utilised to examine 1,429 field interview cards and 1,174 arrests of gang members that occurred from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2011 within one police division.

Findings

Results indicated that the dismantling of the gang unit negatively impacted the collection of intelligence on gang members by officers, regardless of whether the officers were officially serving in the gang unit. Suppression efforts by gang unit officers also resulted in a sustained decline.

Originality/value

Given that many urban centres have specialised gang units, this study demonstrates how organisational turnover or disbandment of a gang unit negatively impacts a department’s ability to deal with local gang issues. Furthermore, these finding suggest that police organisations should consider such ramifications on intelligence-based policing activities.

Keywords

Citation

Valasik, M., Reid, S.E. and Phillips, M.D. (2016), "CRASH and burn: abatement of a specialised gang unit", Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 95-106. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCRPP-06-2015-0024

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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