by Caitlin Huston
The Logansport Police Department saw a decrease in gang-related incidents in 2012, according to First Detective Sgt. D.J. Sommers.
The gang presence seemed to be reduced overall for the area, meaning there were less signs of graffiti and of gangs congregating on the streets, Sommers said. He credited the police patrols and the gang suppression unit, formed last year, for the decrease.
In the past, Sommers said gang presence was felt just by seeing groups on the street and especially by graffiti.
“That’s probably the one that gets the most attention,” Sommers said.
Though the city had incidents of people shooting at houses in 2012 and 2013, Sommers said those are not counted as gang-related as of yet.
“There’s nothing that shows that it is gang-related, and there’s nothing to show it isn’t,” Sommers said.
He said gangs in the area are also known to be involved in “deeper issues,” but declined to comment on the specific issues.
Sommers said there has been a “significant decrease” in the gang-related incidents, largely due to the patrol division increasing their patrol of streets and parks and looking for “any type of suspicious activity.”
“That’s probably the single greatest thing,” Sommers said.
But Sommers also said the police department’s gang suppression unit played a role in decreasing the numbers. Sommers said they’ve built relationships with people with gang affiliations, which has helped them in police cases.
“Knowledge is everything,” Sommers said.
He said that he expects to see a bit more graffiti, however, when the weather warms up.
“There seems to always be an initial rush when the weather changes,” Sommers said.
Sommers added that Logansport has a larger gang presence than most small towns, but that the majority of incidents weren’t directed at the public.
“Most of the gang incidents in this town directly relate from one gang to another,” Sommers said.
Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or firstname.lastname@example.org.