A major goal of the Tallahassee Police Department is to combat criminal street gangs by devoting necessary resources towards validating, cataloging, classifying, initiating contact with, maintaining contact with, and arresting gang members. A Gang Response Unit (GRU) was created to meet this need and is one of the Department's newest specialized units. Members of the unit must be fully flexible in their schedules as the different needs and events in the community may require.
The Gang Response Unit (GRU)
- was established based on Florida Statute chapter 874
- monitors and prevents gang activity
- partners with many regional youth oriented agencies
- provides indicators of gang involvement to aid parents
Street gangs are not just a Tallahassee problem. The GRU was created in response to the growing international criminal street gang epidemic that affects all countries, states, urban and rural areas across the World. Criminal street gang activity affects the safety and quality of life of all Tallahassee-Leon County residents, students, and commuters. The GRU has discovered and contacted members or associates of many national gang-sets, as well as local gangs in Tallahassee and the surrounding area.
The GRU undertakes vast responsibilities, which includes but is not limited to: Planning and coordinating law enforcement services for community events, attending community housing meetings, attending neighborhood meetings, attending criminal intelligence meetings, proactively saturating known gang problem areas, responding to gang related incidents, conducting follow up investigations on gang related incidents, validating and re-validating gang members and associates, educating school and community officials on gang identification, and partnering with local, state, and federal agencies to share information for working together.
The GRU partners with the Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving (COPPS) Squad and the Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU). The Tallahassee Police Department was instrumental in creating the North Florida Criminal Street Gang Work Group, a multi-agency task force, which meets frequently to share information. TPD helps coordinate operations in response to community events with an anticipated gang population presence from the North Florida area. The work group is consists of members of the Tallahassee Police Department, State Attorney's Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshals Service, Leon County Sheriff's Office, FSU Police Department, FAMU Police Department, Gadsden County Sheriff's Office, Wakulla County Sheriff's Office, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Quincy Police Department, DISC Village, Florida Department of Corrections, Division of Juvenile Justice, Juvenile Assessment Center, Florida State Hospital, Greensboro Police Department, Havana Police Department, Chattahoochee Police Department, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the Decatur County, Georgia Sheriff's Office.
The Tallahassee Police Department's GRU is committed to aggressively targeting crimes and criminals who negatively impact the quality of life for our citizens in order to make Tallahassee a better place to live, work, and raise a family.
The GRU encourages all family members, parents, and school administrators to actively watch for any indicators of gang affiliation in their children and/or their children's friends and forward any information to the TPD Gang Response Unit. Indicators of gang affiliation include non-artistic graffiti, the use of intricate hand signs and signals, drawing non-artistic words or claims in notebooks/clothing, wearing of specific color scheme, avoidance of wearing a specific color scheme, hanging out with a new group of friends who dress alike, loiter in, and/or commit crimes together in a certain area, and of course claiming gang affiliation.
TPD's Gang Response Unit can be contacted via phone by calling (850) 891-4200, or by email.
If you are interested in learning more about street gangs, please visit the Florida Department of Corrections' website.