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With the latest killing of a 13-year-old girl it’s time for the Cedar Rapids Police Department to do something about the gang culture that’s clearly being brought from Chicago.
The argument is played out, I know. The fact that they are coming here from Chicago is less important to me than the fact that, wherever they are from, they’ve set up shop here.
The circumstances around the death, accidental or not, are important or course, but not to this particular end.
There has been a half dozen incidents of gun violence in the past 2-3 years that can easily be tied back to the No Limit Muskogen Boys and the local set, Arrogang. NLMB is a gang from Chicago. It is here. Those are facts.
While this is hardly a new phenomenon, it’s only getting worse. They’ve brought the violent mentality of Chicago’s streets to Cedar Rapids. Many of them have been raised in this hell. Children raised in “terror town” don’t know any other way.
The children involved, all of them, are tied in with the same children that have used guns in previous violent acts. Arrogang (NLMB). These kids that are identifying with a gang, carrying guns, and acting in a violent/careless manner. It has taken at least 3 lives. This girl, and 13 and 15-year-old boys in the recent past.
They are all ‘Arrogang NLMB’ kids. There is an obvious lack of parental supervision, and a common theme of guns and gang-like behaviors.
Things are different now than they were in the 90’s, different even than the early 2000’s. The last 5 years have brought in influx in armed robberies (some of which go unreported), shots fired, and violent acts with guns. Sure, it is anecdotal. No, you don’t have to believe me.
It is time for the kids to squash this s*** or in 10 years Cedar Rapids will be unrecognizable. This is everyone’s problem.
All I’m saying is that things are changing, and changing quickly. If the CRPD doesn’t get a handle on it now we are going to have this blow up in our face.
I absolutely acknowledge that gang activity is a growing problem for our city, and I agree with the proposal for the CPRD to initiate some sort of focus (via task force, or internal project, or whatever) on the problem before it gets out of control.
What can the CRPD can do that’s not already being done? Additional frisking and stopping inevitably leads to cries about racial profiling. The neighborhoods themselves need to take additional responsibility as well. Instead of having a prayer vigil after something bad happens, someone should have been calling the police telling them that some kids were playing with guns in the front yard.
It’s frustrating how rapidly discussions seem to devolve to that point; reality is nuanced and our communities need to have sincere and difficult dialogues while practicing genuine empathy. It’s not easy. We all have biases and most of us are unaware of the full extent of them, and the truth of any situation is rarely easy to see or simplistic.
-Increased patrols, including foot beats
-Outreach in schools
-Dedicated resource officer to monitor and squash gang activity
-Proactive investigation into entire gangs or gang networks instead of individual arrests after the fact.
-Use leverage to promote community action, include city government buy-in and private+public partnerships to create more robust after school programs using sports, technology, and music. Things that kids want to be doing.
-Simple enforcement of loitering, public drinking, vandalism, and code enforcement in high-risk neighborhoods
-Stepped up truancy enforcement.
In addition to many others.
These all cost money, but so will the inevitable escalation of these types of activities.
-Frank C., Cedar Rapids