Gang activity is a problem that continues to plague New Jersey cities, suburbs and even small towns.

David McNew, Getty Images
David McNew, Getty Images

"So much of the violence, the gun violence, the murders, the aggravated assaults, which are shootings are due to gang activity, or the rivalry between gangs," says New Jersey State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes.

He points out a great deal of gang activity is focused on profit from the sale of drugs and gang members proliferate.

They live in the cities, they live in the suburbs, and some have come from Pennsylvania in what you might consider as rural areas to operate in New Jersey.

State Attorney General Jeff Chiesa agrees.

"We have State Police resources dedicated to it, we have criminal justice resources dedicated to it, and obviously county prosecutors are dedicating resources to that as well, so it's a major focus."

He says New Jersey law enforcement is constantly trying to disrupt gang activities.

"We continue to do all that we can to disrupt their activity and bring as heavy charges as we can when we are in a position to charges those cases."

No Part of NJ Safe From Gangs

Chiesa points out there are no places in Jersey that should think they're immune from gangs, and unfortunately, gang leaders continue recruiting new members all over the state, so they can be as large and domineering as possible, both in terms of their presence in the communities and their presence with other rival gangs.

He says if New Jersey residents suspect gang activity is going on in their town, "they should immediately contact their local police department, the county prosecutors office because we're all talking about these cases all the time. Gangs operate in a violent world, there's no question about that, which is why people should never try to take action themselves."