DeKalb District Attorney gets technology grant to combat gangs

Posted by Dena Mellick November 19, 2015
A photo from a gang forum hosted by the DeKalb County District Attorney's Office. Photo provided by the DeKalb Co. DA's office

A photo from a gang forum hosted by the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office. Photo provided by the DeKalb Co. DA’s office

The DeKalb County District Attorney’s office said it received a federal grant to combat gangs using technology.

The office said in a press release the U.S. Department of Justice awarded it a grant of $385,118 for information-sharing analysis software that that connects gang and violent crime activities.

“Gang violence and crimes have become an ever-growing problem,” District Attorney Robert James is quoted as saying in the press release. “The ability to share data, leads and information is a critical step in our office curbing gang-related crime.”

The release said, “In 2013 and 2014, the DA’s Office handled more than 30 gang cases charged under the Street Gang Terrorism Prevention Act. Earlier this year, the office announced a 45-count indictment against an alleged street gang known as the Hate Committee. Other identified gangs in the metropolitan Atlanta area includes: Bloods, Crips, Gangster Disciples, Latin Kings and Vice Lords – all with national affiliations.”

James said the gangs in DeKalb vary from local hybrid organizations to “sophisticated criminal enterprises.”

The release notes the grant was approved by the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners in October.

Here’s the full press release:

DeKalb District Attorney’s Office Receives Grant to Combat Gangs Through Technology
Federal Grant Provides $385,000 to Purchase Gang Tracking Software

[Decatur, GA] The DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office received $385,118 to combat local gangs through technology. The grant, awarded from the United States Department of Justice, provides the District Attorney’s Office with software that interfaces with local law enforcement organizations as well as federal and nationwide agencies.

“Gang violence and crimes have become an ever growing problem,” said District Attorney Robert James. “The ability to share data, leads and information is a critical step in our office curbing gang-related crime.”

Technology Innovation for Public Safety (TIPS) grant will help purchase the IBM i2 Analysis software, which is currently used in other jurisdictions throughout the metropolitan Atlanta area. This data-centric software shares information across jurisdictions and enables law enforcement to connect related gang and violent crime activities.

In 2013 and 2014, the DA’s Office handled more than 30 gang cases charged under the Street Gang Terrorism Prevention Act. Earlier this year, the office announced a 45-count indictment against an alleged street gang known as the Hate Committee. Other identified gangs in the metropolitan Atlanta area includes: Bloods, Crips, Gangster Disciples, Latin Kings and Vice Lords – all with national affiliations.

“The gangs in DeKalb range from local hybrid organizations all the way to highly, sophisticated criminal enterprises,” said James. “In order to combat this problem, we have to arm ourselves with the information and technology to stay one step ahead of these gangs.”

This grant was approved by the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners on October 1, 2015.

About Dena Mellick

Dena Mellick is the Associate Editor of Decaturish.com.

View all posts by Dena Mellick

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