In 2017, the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) was created as a central point for gathering intelligence on gang activity. Intelligence is gathered from Federal, State and local law enforcement sources.
The GSU is tasked with investigating gang activity, identifying members and working with prosecutors to use the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act to impose longer prison sentences. This will keep gang members off our streets for longer periods of time and benefit community safety. The unit also provides trained professionals to interact with community leaders as a source of information and provide community education.
Gang activity is documented in a database managed by the Sheriff’s Office and shared with other agencies in Henry County and across the state. The software is designed to specifically identify and track gang activities and individual members.
If you have any information regarding gang activity in Henry County, please click the following email link GangSuppression@co.henry.ga.us or call 770-288-7023. All contacts will be kept anonymous.
To learn more about gangs, see questions below.
- What is a Gang?
A gang is a group of people who have a common name, sign or identifying symbol or color, and who engage in criminal activity. To view "Parents Guide to Gangs" please click on the following links: English or Spanish.
- Who Joins a Gang?
Male and females, from all neighborhoods, races, cultures, religious and economic levels are involved in gangs.
- Why do youth join Gangs?
- Family Substitute
- Economic Benefit
- Thrill and Excitement
- What is Gang graffiti or tagging?
Graffiti or tagging is advertising of gangs. It is used to claim territory, challenge and disrespect rival gangs, show respect for fallen members and show strength by listing its members. It is imperative that graffiti or tagging is reported to law enforcement who can photograph and remove it quickly.
- What are the warning signs that my child might be involved in a Gang?
- Withdrawal from participation in school, family life, church or other activities.
- Changes in dress and color preferences.
- Habitual lying and denial of problematic behavior.
- Major attitude problems with parents, teachers or those in authority.
- Changes in language, including use of gang slang and profanity, and use of hand signs.
- Displays money and property that are beyond the child's income, and is evasive about where the items came from.
- Use of drugs and/or alcohol.
- New friends, possibly fewer friends, that have a negative influence.
- Drop in school grades, truancy increase and discipline problems become more frequent.
- Appearance of different looking graffiti and gang related writings on school books, clothing and other personal items.
- Carrying or possessing weapons, such as a gun, knife, screwdriver, bat or club.
- Appearance of gang related tattoos (initials, names, numbers), burn marks in a pattern or use of markers to make temporary tattoos on hands, arms, legs and other parts of the body.
- What can parents do?
- Spend time with your child!
- Ban gang-related clothing and markings from your child's wardrobe.
- Know your child's friends and monitor the activities and interest.
- Get to know the parents of your child's friends.
- Listen, really listen, to the lyrics of the music that your child listens to. Discuss with your child the ideas and images presented by them.
- Supervise your child's television watching, and make time to watch selected programs together.
- Discuss with your child proper ways to deal with conflict, hate and racism.
- Know your child's school and teachers. Find the time to get involved in your child's education.
- Direct your child to the wholesome activities that are available in your community. Recreation centers, libraries and churches offer free activities for children. Use them. If they are not available, help create them.
- Learn how to be parents. Many organizations and schools have parenting classes that are fun and provide valuable tips on dealing with children.
- Share information with local law enforcement. Many times gang associations are identified by tips and questions from concerned parents.
- Help promote gang awareness through civic groups and neighborhood activities. Law-enforcement officers, trained and experienced in gang activities, are available for talks to your group.