Crime Tracker

Cops: Website to help stop gangs is working

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Houston Police Department, FBI and other agencies say they have had good success in their efforts to fight gangs in Houston.

Last May, two people were shot at Tidwell Park. One of them was 14 years old.

As it turned out, the shooting involved gangs and it happened about the same time a new website was launched, targeting gangs in Houston.

The website allows people to email anonymous tips to law enforcement. The information identified suspects and the gangs to which they belonged.

Here's some of the data developed so far: There are said to be 12,000 documented gang members in the Houston area, who belong to more than 200 gangs operating here. The website has generated a huge database of information.

Now it's evolving. There are already billboards about the website. Now they'll include an image of what's called a featured fugitive. And on the website will be the top 10 most wanted gang fugitives.

Behind the initiative are the FBI, US Marshals, HPD, Harris County Sheriff's Office, Harris County District Attorney's Office, and Clear Channel, which is providing the outdoor ads.

Stephen Morris, FBI special agent in charge, said, "I think the basic principle we're exploiting is the goodness of people who want their communities back, and this is the tool that's going to help us give them back their communities."

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