AUSTIN — The Texas Department of Public Safety released an assessment on Thursday discussing the gang threat in the state.
DPS stated this assessment was developed to provide a broad overview and update information about gang activity throughout the state.
In the assessment DPS found the following information to be true about gang activity in the state.
- Gangs are a significant threat to public safety in Texas.
- Gangs in Texas continue to work closely with the Mexican cartels.
- Gangs assessed with a Tier one ranking pose the greatest gang threat to the state.
- Some members within traditional gangs, such as Texas Syndicate and Texas Mexican Mafia, operate independently of the gang.
- Younger gang members are relinquishing traditional gang structure and rules, opting for less organizational oversight and the freedom to serve in self-interested roles.
- Motorcycle gangs continue to challenge the dominance of the Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang in Texas.
- Gangs use social media to communicate, boast and recruit.
Governor Greg Abbott stated in the report there is more work to be done throughout the state to get rid of gang activity.
“The findings in this report are further evidence that the State of Texas must continue to do all it can to proactively and aggressively combat gangs operating in our state,” said Governor Abbott. “Over the last few years, we have expanded the number of Texas Anti-Gang Centers, and initiated and supported violent crime task forces in our state. With gangs continuing to pose a serious threat to public safety in Texas, our residents can rest assured that we will remove these ruthless criminals from the streets and bolster the safety and security of our communities.”
DPS Director Steven McCraw also chimed in, stating many of these gangs have connections to other criminal organizations.
“Gangs and their associates remain a significant threat to public safety, not only because of their penchant for violence and criminal activity, but also their relationships with other criminal organizations, such as Mexican cartels,” said McCraw. “This report provides an overview of the gangs operating in Texas, which gives law enforcement critical information to help protect our communities from these violent organizations.”
The Department of Public Safety works to crack down on gang activity with their six Texas Anti-Gang Centers, which work with state, local and federal law enforcement agencies to combat gang violence.
The assessment is used to evaluate which organizations pose the highest threat.
For a full view of the Texas Gang Assessment, you can click here.