Indianapolis has a small but growing gang problem, and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has about 50 officers working on it, reports the Indianapolis Star. Deputy Chief William Benjamin said there have been 150 gang-related arrests this year, compared with just seven three years ago. Police have identified 1,103 gang members in Indianapolis and believe 327 different gangs are operating in the county.
The rise of Hispanic gangs is a troubling trend. Two of the city’s most violent gangs are Hispanic. “We’re seeing some of those gangs, in response (to Hispanic gangs), increase their numbers,” said Stephen Parnell, Marion County’s chief gang prosecutor. “There are some areas in this city where young people tell us that gangs fighting one another is like a ‘black and brown war.’ Our kids are identifying it as racial antagonism.”