Home Security and Gang Violence
Gangs have been migrating from urban communities into suburban and rural communities, and this has become a significant and growing problem in most areas of the country. Gangs are now fully entrenched in many communities across the nation. In the Southeast United States the percentage of state and law enforcement agencies that have reported gang activity has been steadily rising for the past five years. The FBI reported that in 2007, there were over 676 gang related murders in the US. The majority of these murder victims were of unknown relationship to the offender; unfortunately, anyone can be a victim of gang violence.
Once a gang is formed, they find a territory (or turf) they can mark as their own in which they can further their criminal acts. Many gangs are formed by soliciting adolescents. Gangs conduct their business through fear, intimidation and violence. All too often, those living in the neighborhoods and surrounding communities of these gangs are also living in fear and violence. Such violence without doubt leads to death – not only of gang members, but also of innocent victims living in these tormented communities.
Here in Miami Dade County, we have experienced our share of gang violence. Just last month, 53 members and associates of violent street gangs were arrested in South Florida on a two-day joint gang enforcement operation. These kinds of efforts by our federal and state law enforcement agencies bring hope to us on a larger level. However, on a personal level, one must take action towards the safety and protection of their own neighborhood, home, and family. Gang related violence demands that you and your community actively protect yourself and loved ones. Here are some signs of gang presence in your neighborhood to look out for:
- Look for graffiti
- Look for teenagers and young adults congregated in street corners
- Look for asymmetry of dress among teenagers and young adults
- Look for “flashing” whether it be through hand signs or car lights
While not all of these are guaranteed indicators of gang presence in your neighborhood, they can give you a heads up if there may be possible gang activity.
When it comes home security systems, there are many misconceptions. One may think that they are too expensive. With ADT, there are many affordable options available for homeowners, such as video surveillance systems or a monitored home security system. An ADT specialist can help you find what package and plan best suits your family’s needs.
A home security system with monitoring gives you an additional benefit when you live in a gang-contaminated area. These forms of systems will contact the monitoring service if a break-in is detected. The monitoring center will verify the alarm activation cause by attempting to contact you and then, if necessary, dispatch the local law enforcement personnel. With ADT you have monitoring service 24/7.
Another added benefit of a monitoring security system is that many systems have one-touch buttons for fire, medical, and police emergencies, allowing you to feel safe whatever your emergency needs may be. If you are home without the security system engaged you could push the button during an emergency. Emergency response units will be on their way momentarily. This quick access is priceless when you or a loved one is in need of help. Take charge of the crime in your neighborhood by installing a monitored home security system and proactively working towards removing the gangs in your neighborhoods and surrounding communities.