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Learning the signs of gang interest
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Newton County Sheriff’s Office Captain Keith Crum suggested that if parents start seeing gang symbols on their child’s school, the need to pay attention.

“They are starting to dabble,” he said. “The sooner we catch them, the sooner we can start steering them away. You need to be nosey parents. It’s not that you don’t trust your kids. Kids today are growing up in a whole different world than we grew up in.

“I hear a lot of comments — well it’s just music, it’s just a phase,” Crum said. “If someone’s constantly involved in a gangster attitude, gangster games, it tends to grow and spread. It’s a social problem.”

He said members of churches, seniors and other members of the community need to be involved with youth, offering healthy and safe alternatives to gang membership. If the child isn’t monitored, by the time the parents know it’s already too late.”

All gangs can be grouped into grouped into different “nations.” People nation gangs include the Bloods, and the Norteno Gangs. Folk Nation Gangs include Crips and Sureñto gangs.

“Crips gravitate to [the number] six; people nation groups like Bloods gravitate to [the number] 5,” said Fountain. “In gang investigation stuff, all gangs can be grouped into what’s referred to as Gang Nations. It’s like the U.S. and Canada — in the U.S., each state has its own flags and colors.

Basically, everything will be either folk or people nation gangs,” he said. “Motorcycle groups don’t fall under these nations.

Recognizing gang activity:

Gangs adopt signature symbols, colors, hand signs and numbers. The sheriff’s office hands out a flyer on recognizing gang symbols. It was produced in partnership with the East Coast Gang Investigators Association, the Middle Atlantic-Great Lakes Organized Crime Law Enforcement Network and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

People Nation Gangs: (Bloods, Norteño, Extremists) use symbols such as a crown with a five-pointed start; a five-pointed star; a bunny smoking; a champagne glass; a crescent moon and star, top hat and cane, and a di displaying the five spot. Some of the extremist, of supremacist gangs, using versions of the Iron Cross.

Folk Nation Gangs: (Crips, Sureño, Prison): favor the number six, but symbols can include flying hearts, skulls, a di rolled to the number six, a left facing bunny profile or a six-pointed star.

Motorcycle Gangs are independent of the two nations, and often wear symbols representing their affiliation on their jackets.

“I tell parents, if you start seeing some of this stuff on your kids school stuff, you need to pay attention,” said Crum. “They’re starting to dabble and the sooner we catch them, the sooner we can start steering them away.

“You need to be nosy parents,” he said. “It’s not that you don’t trust your kids; kids today they are growing up in a whole different world than we grew up in.

To learn more about signs of gang activity, or download warning signs visit

To report suspected gang activity, visit the Newton County Sheriff’s Office at