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During a gathering of Houston’s most prominent law enforcement individuals Wednesday afternoon, an announcement was made about new initiatives that work to find some of Houston’s most wanted gang members and encourage community assistance.

Tidwell Park in northeast Houston served as the backdrop for the unveiling of new tools that will be used in apprehending gang members in Houston. One of those tools is the website, The site was launched as a collaborative effort implemented by the Houston Area Multi-Agency Gang Task Force. Members of that task force include the FBI, ATF, DEA, ICE, USAO, USMS, Federal Bureau of Prisons, HPD, HCSO, Texas DPS, Harris County D.A., TDCJ-OIG, Houston Mayor’s Anti-Gang Office and HISD.

In addition to the website, efforts in finding gangs and arresting those participating in illegal activity have been redoubled. During Wednesday’s announcement, speakers spoke of efforts that are taking place on various social networking sites, various patrols that are organized within Houston communities and communication networks that provide continuous information about the happenings in schools and public venues. During each speech given Wednesday, speakers stressed the need for community assistance and involvement.

Tidwell Park was chosen as the place to announce the new initiative because it was there that an anonymous tip from the area helped police eventually arrest 140 gang members charged with a variety of crimes.

Among Wednesday’s speakers were Harris County D.A. Pat Lykos, Houston Police Chief Charles A. McClelland Jr., Special Agent in Charge- FBI, Stephen L. Morris and Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia. In Chief McClelland’s address to the media, he spoke of the importance of one tip: “With just one tip, so much can be accomplished,” Chief McClelland said Wednesday. “Every tip is treated with care, concern and every tip has follow-up,” he added.

In Harris County D.A. Pat Lykos’ address to the media, she gave details of gangs in Harris County. According Lykos, there are 223 documented gangs presently in Harris County. She also spoke of Trans-National organizations that work with gangs in illegal and organized criminal activity. She spoke of the importance of the new initiatives that work to eradicate gang activity. “This new venture, these new steps take community policing to a whole new level,” Lykos said.

With every speaker during Wednesday’s press conference, each spoke of the importance and potential effectiveness of The website allows for private individuals to access the Internet and safely and anonymously report gang activity in a user-friendly format. The site was launched in September 2010 and has received 803 anonymous tips which have led to 244 arrests. Since the site’s launch, it has been updated with newer formats. For citizens who wish to offer a tip, there are new features on the site that offer simple ways for citizens to share information. When asked what will be the driving force behind community involvement and assistance, Harris County Sheriff Garcia said that citizens’ desire for their communities to be safe. “The website will be a valuable tool and citizens will want their streets and communities safe and free from gang activity,” Sheriff Garcia said.

Another component of the initiative are the billboards. Six digital billboards will be placed throughout the city of Houston. The digital advertisements will feature one gang member’s picture and details. That gang member will be profiled for a week on the billboard and then another gang member’s picture and information will be uploaded. There will also be 26 traditional billboards that will give details about The billboards will reportedly be seen by as many as 300,000 people daily in Harris County and Houston. For these prominent individuals in law enforcement, the redoubling efforts to ensure safety and security for Houston and Harris County residents and combat gang activity is an effort that they will work round the clock to implement.

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New Initiatives Target Houston’s Most Wanted Gang Members, Encourage Community Involvement  was originally published on