Police Chief Paul Morrison met with Roselle Park News to discuss the findings of the 2010 New Jersey State Police Street Gangs Survey. Although Chief Morrison understands that gang presence is a reality – as evidenced by the report – and that no community is immune, he wants residents to know that those members listed as ‘residents’ are known to the police and they are monitored.
“In the years since 2007, there have been changes in residency, relocation of members, as well as more accurate reporting by victims,” the police chief explained in regard to the change from ‘no gang presence’ three years ago, “There also has been additional training of officers to recognize and document possible gang activity as well as documentation of an arrestee’s tattoo or self-identification as a gang member.”
As to how the information was obtained on gangs and their members, the Chief stated that arrest reports, investigation reports of crimes that were committed, and graffiti documented all were taken into account to provide information for the survey.
Understanding that gang members might live in town, the Chief stated that it does not mean they would conduct any gang activity where they live. He wanted residents to know that they are a part in keeping vigilant with respect to any suspected gang activity, “All incidents – from graffiti to the more serious crimes – should be reported to police. Children are the most vulnerable recruits and parents must look for any signs of possible gang references in their child’s activities, possessions, and internet usage and address it directly.”