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Trenton Gang Violence On The Decline, Myth Or Fact

2309 words - 10 pages

Trenton Gang Violence on the Decline
Myth or Fact

In conducting my research on gangs in Trenton, New Jersey and whether or not their presence and the perception that violence is on the decline; either myth or fact appeared contradicted at best, similar to how our researchers in the context of our reading toggled with the definition of gangs. The scope and methodology of my research consisted of the following approach:
Interviews: I spoke with a detective and long time friend B. Mathis on the phone of the Trenton police department on approximately December 17, 2009 regarding his take on how his law enforcement teams were dealing with combating the war on gangs in Trenton. I spoke ...view middle of the document...

The New Jersey State Police Uniform Crime Report at website ( provided information on violent crimes and reported percentage declines in gang violence. The city of Trenton post an online resource ( host local crime reports committed by gangs and some cross comparison in decrease in activity. For now the above mentioned approaches influenced my research into the decline of gang violence; myth or fact.

Trenton Makes and the World Takes, a well known slogan as you cross the bridge headed across the Delaware River into Yardley Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, Trentonians’ are not the only ones traveling across this
Trenton Gang Violence 3

bridge and into other suburban areas of New Jersey or Pennsylvania, so are the Blood, Crips and Latin Kings; notorious gangs that have come to take up homage in Trenton, but according to local officials their presence is on the decline ( cited in New Jersey State Police News Release 2009). According to the Uniform Crime Report incidences dropped one percent in 2008, the seventh consecutive year of violent crime drop. These gangs pose a serious threat to public safety in many of our neighborhoods throughout New Jersey, but most notably in Trenton, which is the capital of the state. As stated above members are increasingly migrating from inner city to suburban areas and are responsible for a growing percentage of crime and violence in many communities, which involve criminal activity and drugs (cited in Gang Violence in New Jersey 2009). In conducting research on the gang activity in Trenton and focusing on the hopeful decline of gang activity in this city I postulated on the information obtained and toggled as to whether law enforcement were delusional in their reports if they provided an illusion to the public and my politician friends articulated an abundance amount of rhetoric to gain social status and illicit public recognition to win a campaign or am I being naïve and gullible fishing for information from my short 30 minute conversation with my nephew who can provide a frame work of conceptual data from his life experiences. This would obviously only be his microcosm view of one gang experience in comparison to the thousands and maybe millions that exist. My last concern before presenting my findings is whether or not my biased view point of having grown up in Trenton and witnessed what gangs have done within the community, I have become amazed as to how it appears as though gangs have come into the city with an enormous appetite for control, wealth and instillation of fear, but have since become overstuffed and depleted their customers for drugs, achieved hierarchy status in neighborhoods and peeked at financial gain to now move to suburban sectors of Trenton, New Jersey area, again giving a false sense of decline of gang activity in the area.
In my first discussion with B. Mathis, detective with Trenton police department he...

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