The Lowell Police Department has identified 25 active gangs in Lowell.
100% of 2007 homicides were perpetrated by gang members.
There has been a noticeable increase in the level of violence between gangs, specifically retaliatory feuding.
Because Lowell gangs do not claim ownership of neighborhood turf, gang rivals often live in close proximately to one another which allows for personal, unpredictable, and spontaneous violence.
Weapons are easily available and shots-fired calls are up.
High school aged gang members are actively recruiting middle school youth which has caused younger youth to take more aggressive actions to prove themselves.
High truancy rates and lack of positive alternatives have been identified as contributing factors to gang involvement.
The City Manager's Gang Advisory Board will form a sub-committee focused on Lowell's Shannon CSI efforts and will focus its efforts on suppressing retaliatory violence, decreasing truancy, creating and enhancing positive alternatives, and engaging and educating the community on gang problems.
Lowell police department will:
- Continue to utilize a crime analyst dedicated to monitoring gang activity in the city and ensure efficient resource deployments to hot spot locations.
- Work with other city departments to identify, enforce, and clean up locations with building, health, and fire code violations.
- Continue to employ saturated patrols to deter serious criminal behavior or diffuse situations as they arise.
- Continue home visits to identified impact players, discuss positive options and refer families to services available in the city, and warn of consequences of illegal action.
Lowell service providers will:
- Make contact, build relationships with the decision makers in the gang community to prevent violence, refer the youth to services, and provide alternatives to gang involvement.
- Hold mediations and peace circles between rival gang members.
- Continue truancy prevention efforts through calls to parents of truant youth and the buy back program which provides truant youth the opportunity to make up time before and after school.
- Continue to work with families with truant children and assist them with necessary services.
- Provide an Alternative Diploma program for out-of-school youth.
- Continue to create positive recreation, expressive art, and civic opportunities.
- Provide mentoring to at-risk, court involved Southeast Asian youth.
- Provide job opportunities and job training skills.
- Increasing the number of youth attending boxing program and the Boys & Girls Club.
Though weapons availability and shots fired calls have increased, firearm crime is down 23% and aggravated assault with a gun declined 37%.
Efforts to decrease truancy has reduced truancy rates by 13% from 2007-2008.
Lowell PD's Shannon CSI suppression efforts resulted in 111 arrests, 41% of which were of known gang members.
Cleaned up 9 sites and worked to improve conditions at 103 sites in high-crime areas with city violations.
Reported a 17% drop in violent crime in the first half of 2008.
358 students used the Lowell School Department buy back program and bought back 801 total classes.
115 truant students received home visits (316 visits made) and 73 family meetings took place.
100 at-risk youth were employed by the Parks and Recreation Department.
15 gang mediations were held to prevent future violence.