Dear Representatives Hinson and Kaptur,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our support for H.R. 9195, the “Gang Activity Reporting Act,” which would require an annual, collaborative report on gang activity in the United States.
Gangs can have a devastating impact on communities. They disrupt schools, students, and family life with aggressive recruitment campaigns that use intimidation and the threat of violence. They traffic in illegal drugs, weapons, and people, bringing violence, misery and death to our homes and communities. With violent crime on the rise in most of our country, it is time we start to address the impact criminal gangs have at the national level. There has been no substantial or comprehensive report on gang activity since 2015—and it’s time to change that.
The legislation you have introduced will require the U.S. Attorney General to work with the U.S Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as well as State and local law enforcement agencies, to assess and report on the membership, locations and activity of local, national and transnational gangs. We would also urge that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) play a significant role in the compilation of this report, as they have lengthy experience in combating gang crime and well-established relationships with State and local law enforcement agencies on the frontlines of our nation’s anti-gang efforts. The report will also provide information on the methods and networks used by gangs to recruit members and to carry out criminal acts, as well as an accounting of government resources and initiatives used to combat and prosecute gangs at the local, State and Federal level.
We believe that establishing this kind of report on gang activity will better enable law enforcement to reduce the harm these organized criminals cause in our communities.
On behalf of the more than 364,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, we are proud to support this legislation. Thank you both for your leadership on this issue. If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in our Washington, D.C. office.