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State and Local Agencies Fail to Report to Justice Department (moved from ATSNN)

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posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 11:51 PM
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Of nearly twenty thousand state and local law enforcement agencies contacted by the Justice department, regarding the National Gang Threat Assessment report, fewer than five hundred have responded to the request for information, according to Jack Wood, a contractor for the Justice Department. The refusal to comply will render the Justice Department's report inaccurate. So far, no official response has been issued by the Justice Department.
 



www.usatoday.com
A recent Justice Department report on the threat posed by gangs underestimated the number of gang members nationwide because thousands of police agencies refused to provide information about their jurisdictions.

The surprising lack of cooperation by police agencies means the Justice Department's estimate of more than 700,000 gang members nationwide could be too low by at least 200,000, said Patrick Word, vice chairman of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Gang Investigators Network, a group that helps collect data for the Justice Department.

Nearly 20,000 state and local police agencies were contacted to participate in the National Gang Threat Assessment report, but only 455 provided information, said a federal law enforcement official who asked not to be identified to avoid future conflicts with local police in obtaining information. The report did not specify which agencies did not participate, so they could not be contacted for comment.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


This is very strange. The police and related agencies apparently have reservations about revealing information to the Federal authorities, regarding gang activity. There are probably endless reasons why this could be the case, but I'm leaning towards two in particular, either general distrust of the feds on the part of the local agencies, or a coordinated attempt on the part of the LEAs to maintain their job description and keep the feds from taking over their jurisdiction for gang crimes. Nobody likes being irrelevant, yaknow?

One gentleman quoted in the source article thinks that the agencies are refusing to report because they don't want to start a panic, but I'm not sure I buy that, it seems a bit illogical.

Could this represent a widening of the rift between the state/local agencies and the feds? This news has struck a chord with me, I wonder if I'm taking it out of context, but this seems to be a fairly serious development for the worse in the realm of state-federal relations. In any case, a developing situation to keep an eye on.




posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 12:31 PM
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Here's a good read, but be prepared, it's long. This is the report in question, the National Gang Threat Assessment Report.

Link

The conclusions must necessarily be quite erroneous, given the shortage of data, but it's still a very interesting picture being painted.

One has to wonder, if the report is this grim without all those agencies reporting, how bad would it have been had they responded to the Justice Department's requests? Maybe there's some truth to the theory that the state agencies don't want to spark a panic...

I'm not sure. In any case, I still think the most important aspect of this story is the cooperation, or lack thereof, between the Feds and the state agencies. I figured I'd post the report though, for anyone interested in the conclusions so far.



 
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