In 2010, the New Jersey State Police conducted their triennial Street Gang Surveys for the state and the results for Roselle Park showed a gang presence in 2010, a marked departure from a response of ‘no gang presence’ in the survey taken three years ago. Although the survey taken in 2007 reported no gang presence, previous surveys taken in 2001 and 2004 did record a gang presence in the borough. The information for the survey, which the municipality completed in February 2010, came from the Roselle Park Police Department.
Five (5) gangs with 12 known members were reported in Roselle Park. The five (5) noted gangs were the Bloods, Los Cafeteros, Los Vatos Locos, Niños Sin Amor, and the Almighty Latin King & Queen Nation (ALKQN), more commonly known as the Latin Kings. Of the 12 known gang members, two (2) were from the Latin Kings and 10 were members of Los Cafeteros while the remaining gangs had an unknown number of members reported.
While Los Cafeteros were classified as the borough’s most serious problem, the survey reported that gang activity was limited to drug related crime which involved cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, and prescription drugs, as well as other narcotics. There were no violent crimes or thefts attributed to gangs in the borough and the survey reported a decrease in overall crime for the 12 month span of the survey.
Although the report showed that the number of gangs present in local schools was unknown, no gang activity was reported in the school district nor were there any known gang incidents in the schools. The survey stated that there was no indication that any gangs were actively recruiting in the borough.
In their response, the Roselle Park Police Department (RPPD) stated that it has received formal training on street gang awareness and recognition. Additionally, the RPPD used the Stationhouse Adjustment Program to refer youthful offenders to social services or intervention programs.
Four of the five gangs reported showed members who were residents of the borough while only one, Los Vatos Locos, showed transient members. The survey showed that the crimes reported were transient in nature and were perpetrated by the Bloods and Los Vatos Locos while the three (3) remaining gangs had no reported activity in the borough.