Seattle gang detectives Jim Dyment and Tom Mooney experienced an unsettling déjà vu last Friday: the third shooting they had responded to in a week, says the Seattle Times. Dyment, a sergeant who has spent years investigating drugs, prostitutes, and youth violence, muttered, “Being a gangster is a young man’s sport.”
Chasing gang members is becoming a full-time priority for police officers and sheriff’s deputies throughout the Puget Sound region, where authorities say gang membership is surging. From graffiti spray-painted on a neighbrhood mailbox to recent shootings at area shopping malls, police say crimes associated with gangs appear to be on the upswing. Police have identified more than 200 gangs in the Puget Sound region and say that many people, mostly teenage boys and men in their 20s, who claim allegiance to these groups are behind an increasing amount of crime.