Despite efforts by law enforcement, gang activity continues to grow in Jersey.

State Attorney General Jeff Chiesa says traditionally gangs have operated in the inner cities, "but we shouldn't kid ourselves - they're in every community in this state - in one way or another - and they love to really infiltrate every community in this state."

Gang Awareness Guide (PDF)

He says " gangs are indiscriminate in their violence, they're indiscriminate in the way they go about terrorizing neighborhoods - and the way they operate does not follow traditional organized crime patterns- and they don't care if they injure or kill a law enforcement officer or a public official or indiscriminately pick somebody out of a neighborhood- as someone who will be their victim of an initiation…they really don't operate by any set of rules at all, and they use threats to families, they use threats to neighborhoods to force young people to join the gangs - they try to create a sense of hopelessness."

Police Units Focus On Disrupting Gangs' Drug, Weapons Trade

Chiesa adds different gang units around the state, including Atlantic City,  are now focusing on long-term disruption of the gangs, "and that means go after their drug trade, go after their gun trade, go after whatever illegal activities they may be engaging in to sustain themselves…we have very good gun laws in New Jersey and we have very talented, dedicated law enforcement officers who are doing very dangerous work to infiltrate these gangs and disrupt them - and will continue to do it."

He says the State Police is working all over New Jersey  in urban settings and non-urban settings  to help with the gang problems.

"We'll use all of the high tech surveillance and investigative techniques to gain access to information, to find out exactly what their plans are - and how they're going to go about them - if that means wire taps - whatever- we'll do all of those things… nevertheless, the real terror here is neighborhoods and families feel held hostage by these gangs - because if you happen to be out in your yard at a picnic- you read about these tragic circumstances where they'll just come along side in a drive-by shooting and just fire away - innocent and very young people have been killed tragically in these situations…it's a big problem, it's a significant problem that we're allocating our resources to - state police resources, the county prosecutors do a great job."

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