A Tour With Tulsa Gang Cops As They Look For Guns, Hope To Stop Robberies


Tulsa police gang officers Andy Dawson and Korey Scott head out in good weather, ideal for contacting gang members and their associates. It's also a good time for finding and seizing illegally owned firearms. That is one way police are trying to deconstruct gangs, says the Tulsa World. Tulsa police recovered a record high of at least 215 guns in 2014. As of last week, 202 firearms have been recovered from the streets this year, said Sgt. Sean Larkin. “Every firearm we can take from a gang member and associate, the potential for that one to be used in a robbery, a shooting or the next homicide has been reduced,” Larkin said. “Sometimes we may get seven, eight, nine guns in a week recovered.”

Since 1992, the police department has compiled a list of 3,200 people known to be involved in gang activity. Police see a trend of the average age getting younger. “The general public, they don't know what to look for, because these guys are good at disguising who they are. They pass 'em every day,” Larkin said. “Whether it's in traffic or in the mall, restaurants that they're all eating in, they're throughout the city. “The days of our gang members dressing head to toe in gang colors and putting the gang on their back — things like that are long past. Now it's just little subtle things that they do.” A rash of gang-related shootings this summer has kept the Gang Unit busier than usual. The World travels with Dawson and Scott travel in an unmarked car through a primarily Crips neighborhood and other gang centers.

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