Marion County Gang Unit
Florida has an estimated 65 thousand gang members and the largest increase in gang activity nationwide, according to state investigators.
Law enforcement and the state attorney are recommending sixteen changes to Florida law which will increase the penalty for gang activity.
The number of gang crimes is not as high in Marion County as in some other places and law enforcement is working hard to keep it that way.
Sgt. Chuck Long with the Ocala Police Department says, "We don't want the problems of the bigger areas."
we're trying to jump on now..and control it."
He also says that changes in behavior such as new friends or a change in grades could be a sign of gang involvement in children.
The gang unit recommends that parents check thier children's Myspace pages for signs of gang affiliation.
The gang unit in Marion County is made up of the sheriff's office, the Ocala Police Department, the Department of Juvenile Justice and the state attorney's office.
by Sarah Pusateri WCJB TV 20 News
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