How much of a problem are gangs in your community?

After turmoil this spring and summer over the Metro Gang Strike Force, the state of Minnesota on Friday shut the unit down. Public Safety Commissioner Michael Campion said the task force had lost all credibility. Do gangs pose such a threat that the metro area needs a special unit to fight them? How much of a problem are gangs in your community?

  • kennedy

    Day to day things like going to work, grocery shopping, generally living life, most things are unaffected. It’s the little things, though. Living near Lake Phalen, the recent assaults leave me less comfortable enjoying the park. I have changed my behavior and go to the park less often. It doesn’t feel right to forfeit a public resource to a small group of small people. However, it is not worth risking my safety when I have other options.

  • C.L.

    Yes, gangs are a problem in our community. The solution is not a police unit that behaves like a rival gang.

  • NAthan Affield

    Speaking on behalf of the Southwest of the state?

    the most trouble we usually run into is from youth imitating gangs than actual gang members.

    we recently had a stint of vandalizing with BB guns, “Crips” -esqe Graffiti, and some minor home burglaries. none of which were traced to any actual sect of the L.A. Gang.

    Kids these days….

  • nancy zhao

    I live on the border between two gang territories. My first answer was that they are no problem at all.

    Then I realized

    #1 I don’t go out at night,

    #2 if I have to go out at night I do not carry a wallet or my laptop or anything valuable.

    #3 I am constantly rehearsing what I would say or do if assaulted.

    In fact I am constantly aware of danger in the same way that a duck and her ducklings is constantly aware of alligators and predators around them. danger is such a constant and integrated part of life that I don’t even think about it. just as a tightrope walker does not think about falling they just think about keeping their balance.

    like wearing my seatbelt, I barely even think about the danger of gangs any more than I think about a car crash when I drive.

  • nancy zhao

    I live on the border between two gangs.

    my first thought was to say they are not a problem at all, Then I realized that I am never unaware of the danger.

    #1 I don’t go out at night.

    #2 If I do go out, I don’t carry a wallet or purse or my laptop.

    #3 If I come home after dark I leave my valuables in my car and walk quickly to my door constantly aware of my surroundings.

    #4 I am always ready and rehearsing what would be the best thing to say or do if I was assaulted.

    Danger is so constant and pervasive that I don’t even think about it consciously. Like putting on a seatbelt in the car, I don’t think about a car crash. I just take precautions.

    Danger is a natural part of life, a duck and her ducklings are constantly aware of predators and take appropriate precautions.

  • Andrew Hatling

    As a youth living in the West Metro, I find it insulting to have adults talk about “kids these days” as such a problem. This is especially true when the troubled kids are such a small majority. In my town, we have seen similar issues with graffiti and vandelism – with teens attempting to imitate the gangs. However, this is maybe 10 youth, of the 1,500 in my community. Instead of complaining about the youth, adults should create initiatives to help us “troublemakers.” Those actions would be better than forcing fellow teens to try and help…

  • Noel

    I do not believe that we have any problems with gangs in my neighborhood. I do not worry about going out or doing things at night. However, I do live in the northwestern suburbs and maybe we just do not have the problems that other areas do.

  • Adam Pagel

    I know gangs are in my neighborhood (Powderhorn) because of graffiti and the occasional sweep of police rounding up teens in the park. But on a day-to-day basis, my life is more negatively impacted by street crime not connected to gangs (or seemingly not connected to gangs) like street prostitution. Teen gang members seem to be kids playing at crime–hanging out, etc. The hard-core adult criminals on my streets are much more threatening.

  • Molly M

    This question is, or should, specifically targeted to those who live in areas known to have gang violence including areas in St. Paul, South and North Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center areas. Of course those who live in suburbs are not going to feel affected or afraid of gang violence. If you live in an area where there are gang tags on buildings, you can bet that much of the crime- petty theft and prostitution are gang related. No one should underestimate the problems and violence that gangs bring into neighborhoods as these problems directly affect the other YOUTH in that area. Perhaps this gang task force was not the answer, but I am sure the people who have their eyes wide open in these areas would not put down the idea of someone working to control gangs. Ignoring this problem does not make it go away, it simply makes us ignorant.

  • Lore

    If your atricles are always this helpful, “I’ll be back.”

  • anon


    Carry permit. The end