Police respond to increase of gang crime in 2017

(Credit: MGN Online)

El Paso police said that more graffiti was seen around town in December, and their first response was to increase their gang unit.

OOfficers said most graffiti is directly linked to gang-related crimes.

Darrel Petry, a spokesman for EPPD, said making those changes has worked so far,and gang activity is not exclusive to El Paso.

"Our gang unit actually communicates with other major cities in Texas to see what they're seeing with gang activity," Petry said. "We try to communicate with them just so that we can keep up with the trends."

According to the El Paso Police Department, there were 38 cases of graffiti reported at this time in 2016.

This year, there have been 146 cases reported.

The number for aggravated assault cases have also more than doubled. There were 11 cases reported in 2016.

This year, there have been 26 cases reported.

Other categories have also seen an increase such as assaults, criminal mischief and deadly conducts.

EPPD said to keep up with the gang crime increase, they have more than doubled their gang unit.

During the first quarter of 2016, there were a total of 15 calls.

But in the first quarter of 2017, there have been 22 calls, and of those calls, 15 have been resolved with arrests made.

Petry said that that there is no specific place that gang activity is happening. He is just urging the public to be aware.

"We are constantly putting out information on how people can keep themselves safe," Petry said. "Ithink that we all know there are certain times of the day that we just don't need to be out. If there's no reason to be out, don't."

If anyone has any information about gang activity and would like to remain anonymous, call (915) 212-GANG.

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