Turf War: Charlotte's 30 Year Battle

Charlotte has a gang problem.  With 151 known gangs and almost 2,000 known gang members, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe says gangs are gripping our communities and must be dealt with aggressively.

"The more we recognize and analyze gangs," Monroe tells Anchor Molly Grantham, "the more effective we can be in attacking the problem."

But gangs didn't just appear.  Whether police were publicly acknowledging it or not, gangs have been committing crimes on Charlotte streets for decades.

On Thursday April 9th, Molly hosted a 30-minute special which looks into how Charlotte gang life began, and how it grew.

She investigated motorcycle gangs in the 1970's, to what went on in the 1980's, 1990's, the early part of this century and what we're looking at now.

The show is posted here in its entirety, split up in four parts so you don't see the commercials.  Click in "Video Gallery" to watch.

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(The following information is from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department's Gang of One program.)

Area Mental Health Is working to create a community system that empowers and supports individuals to lead healthy and independent lives. Our focus is on managing services for those most in need and those with limited financial resources, rather than providing the services. 704-336-6404

Behavioral Health Center CMC-RANDOLPH To provide psychiatric and behavioral health treatment services across a continuum of inpatient and outpatient services. 704-444-2400

Bethlehem Center To provide educational opportunities for low-income children and families to improve the quality of their lives.  704-375-1417

Big Brothers Big Sisters Helps children reach their potential through professionally supported one-to-one relationships with proven results. 704-377-3963

Boys & Girls Club of Greater Charlotte Inspires and enables all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. Provides after-school programs and activities. 704-334-4731

B.R.I.D.G.E. Job Program To provide education and employment services to individuals who have dropped out of school or are unemployed.  Serves young people between ages 16 and 24. 704-377-5371

Center for Community Transitions To strengthen our community by helping people with criminal records find a healthier and more productive way of living. 704-374-0762

Charlotte Boxing Academy To teach basic and advance fundamentals of boxing to youth and teens, ages 8 - 17 years old and adults 18 & older.  Participants also get to compete in amateur boxing events. 704-432-0829

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools To provide support to students, teachers and staff that enhances the educational experience and social development for all students.  980-343-6256

Community Relations Committee The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee (CRC) is a statutory human relations agency of the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.  Our mission is to prevent discrimination, to ameliorate the affects of past discrimination, and to promote harmony among the citizens of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. 704-336-2424

Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention To promote public safety and juvenile delinquency prevention, intervention, and treatment through the operation of a seamless, comprehensive juvenile justice system. 704-330-4338

Department of Parks & Recreation To enrich the lives of our citizens through the stewardship of the County's natural resources and the efficient and responsive provision of quality leisure opportunities, experiences, and partnerships. 704-336-5953

Department of Social Services To provide the services necessary to prevent or relieve economic and emotional hardship, and to rally the community to improve the quality of life for its citizens. 704-336-3150

Gang Prevention Coalition (GPC)  Is a group of community agencies and organizations who are working in partnership to address gang issues in Mecklenburg County.  The mission of the GPC is to partner with the community to eliminate gangs through collaboration, training, and technical assistance.   The Gang Prevention Coalition, in partnership with CMPD/Gang of One, is seeking proposals from community organizations to implement strategic initiatives in the Idlewild South and Starmount Forest communities.   Up to 14 Community Impact Project grants will be awarded to these Charlotte area communities in varying amounts between $500-$25,000.  Proposals are due by May 1, 2009.  704-336-7462

Latin American Coalition, Inc. To promote full Hispanic participation in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region, by informing, educating and advocating for the Latin American community. 704-531-3848

Mayor's Mentoring Alliance Is a partnership of agencies working together to promote a range of opportunities for caring adults to volunteer in the lives of children. 704-336-2928

Mi Casa Su Casa A private non-profit organization, serving the Latino community of Charlotte/Mecklenburg by promoting self-sufficiency and community empowerment. We accomplish this through advocacy, referral services, and programming in Wellness, Early Childhood Development and Family Preservation. 704-536-9845

One Hundred Black Men of Charlotte To provide mentoring programs for boys 11 to 15. 704-375-7300

Partners in Out-of-School Time (POST) To ensure that all school-age children and youth in Mecklenburg County have access to high-quality programs, activities, and opportunities when school is closed. 704-376-1845

Police Athletic League (PAL) To provide opportunity for the youth of our community that foster their leadership and citizenship skills through athletics and academics. 704-336-2105

Right Moves For Youth To provide the motivation for its club members in grades 4-12 to succeed in school, improve their quality of life, and become responsible members of society. 704-377-4425

Teen Health Connection To improve the health of adolescents by providing physical and mental health services, education, advocacy and research through connections with teens, parents and the community. 704-381-TEEN (8336)

Urban Restoration Ministries To provide an array of evangelistic, educational, athletic, counseling, and social services. 704-391-0022

YMCA Plays a leadership role in building strong kids, families and communities through programs including youth leadership, sports and fitness. 704-716-6514

YWCA To provide youth with intellectual, physical and social growth opportunities, which will ultimately prepare them for successful adulthood. 704-525-5770

Gang of One - Programs

Prevention:

Crossroads Teen Theater Project Is a theater program for high school students. Youth will participate in a Crossroads conversation, dialogue with Crossroads partner agencies, build community, create a performance that presents their experiences in the community, and organize a teen summit designed to encourage conversation about the present state of Charlotte, specifically issues of violence which impacts teens, and future possibilities of Charlotte youth taking an active and intentional role in shaping the future of our community.

Dangers Involved with Gangs (DIG) Is a 4-hour gang prevention program that provides 5th grade students with positive decision-making skills to resist gang influence. This program is being implemented in: David Cox Road Elementary, Hornets Nest Elementary, Joseph W. Grier Academy, Pawtuckett Elementary, Thomasboro Elementary, Tuckaseegee Elementary, Hidden Valley Elementary, Highland Renaissance Elementary, and Ashley Park Elementary.

Gang Recognition and Awareness Workshop To educate participants about gangs in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and efforts to reduce gang violence and crime through a comprehensive strategy of prevention, intervention, suppression, and reentry. Participants will learn about emerging gang trends, the definition of a gang, why youth join gangs, the influence of media and popular culture, gang "family" bonding factors, gang recognition fundamentals, and collaborative efforts for prevention and intervention through Gang of One.  This program is implemented by request.

No Easy Walk Is a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) peer leadership, outdoor challenge program for middle school youth who evidence early indicators of gang influence and behaviors. This program is being implemented in: Turning Point Academy (formerly Derita Alternative) and McClintock Middle, Martin King Luther King Middle, Spaugh Middle, Turning, and Eastway Middle (programs delayed).

Racing 2 Inspire, Stimulate and Educate (RISE) Is a career-path program for high school students, providing an innovative approach to math and science through the local motorsports industry by engaging students in hands-on experiences and exposure.  This program is being implemented in: Garinger High School.

Youth Gang Resistance Training To talk with youth about the realities of gang life and introduce them to positive alternatives through Gang of One.  Youth will learn to distinguish gangs from other youth groups or organizations, recognize that gangs are negative, understand that joining a gang is a choice, and learn different ways to resist gang involvement.  This program is implemented by request.

Intervention:

Gang of One Hotline Is a phone number staffed by bi-lingual volunteers.  Callers may obtain information about gangs or programs, request an educational presentation, or make a referral to Gang of One regarding a youth at-risk of or involved in a gang who may want assistance in getting out or staying out of a gang.  This program is implemented by request.

Truancy Safe/Neighborhoods Is a CMPD/Gang of One and CMS collaborative that reduces juvenile criminal activity and truancy and increases student attendance in school utilizing CMPD officers and a school-based intervention team model. This program is being implemented in: Coulwood Middle, Wilson Middle, Bishop Spaugh Middle, JT Williams Middle, Martin Luther King Middle, Sedgefield Middle, Right Choices at Marie G Davis, West Mecklenburg High, West Charlotte High, and Harding High.

Weed and Seed Truancy Court  Is an early intervention program for elementary and middle school students who have been chronically truant throughout the school year. This program is being implemented in: Winterfield Elementary, Eastway Middle, Merry Oaks Elementary, and Bishop Spaugh Community Academy.

Reentry:

Security Threat Group (STG) Reentry Program Is a Center for Community Transitions (formerly known as ECO, Energy Committed to Offenders) program designed to restore offenders to their families and the community, helping them find work and reducing recidivism.  The STG Reentry Coordinator will coordinate pre-release and post-release reentry planning with persons who have previous gang affiliations leaving prison, using a strengths-based approached.