General Gang Information and the Gang Unit

The Gang Unit is supervised under the Planning and Crime Analysis Division of the Police Department.  At this time there is one detective assigned to the Unit.  Detective William Harkins is the contact person for any questions you may have about gangs in Longview.  He can be reached at 903-237-1199 during normal business hours. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why does the Police Department identify members of Criminal Gangs?

The 84th Legislature enacted CCP 61.02 Criminal Combination and Criminal Street Gang Intelligence Database; Submission Criteria requires law enforcement to take steps to identify members of Criminal Gangs.  We comply with this law in order to identify and assist in the prosecution of those individuals involved in gang related crimes. By identifying members of Criminal Gangs, we are better able to respond and investigate illegal activities committed by those members.   Members of Criminal Gangs have historically committed violent crimes and by identifying those members, we hope to deter their illegal activities and thus help make Longview a safer place.

What is an Intelligence Database?

CCP 61.01 defines “Intelligence database" as a collection or compilation of data organized for search and retrieval to evaluate, analyze, disseminate, or use intelligence information relating to a criminal combination or a Criminal Street Gang for the purpose of investigating or prosecuting criminal offenses.  This information is evaluated to determine its relevancy to the identification of criminal gang activity committed by an individual or criminal organization.    

What are the criteria for identifying a gang member?

The 84th Legislature enacted Art. 61.02 of the Code Of Criminal Procedures that sets the requirements that law enforcement must meet in documenting members of Criminal Gangs. 

JUDICIAL FINDING A judgment under any law that includes, as a finding or as an element of a criminal offense, participation in a criminal street gang;

JUDICIAL SELF ADMISSION:  A self-admission by the individual of criminal street gang membership that is made during a judicial proceeding; or except as provided by Subsection (d), any two of the following:

NON-JUDICIAL SELF ADMISSION:  A self-admission by the individual of criminal street gang membership that is not made during a judicial proceeding, including the use of the Internet or other electronic format or medium to post photographs or other documentation identifying the individual as a member of a criminal street gang;

ID’d BY A RELIABLE INFORMANT:  An identification of the individual as a criminal street gang member by a reliable informant or other individual;

ID’d BY A CORROBORATED INFORMANT:  A corroborated identification of the individual as a criminal street gang member by an informant or other individual of unknown reliability;

FREQUENTS A DOCUMENTED GANG AREA:  Evidence that the individual frequents a documented area of a criminal street gang and associates with known criminal street gang members;

HAND SIGNS, TATTOOS, GRAFFITI, etc:  Evidence that the individual uses, in more than an incidental manner, criminal street gang dress, hand signals, tattoos, or symbols, including expressions of letters, numbers, words, or marks, regardless of how or the means by which the symbols are displayed, that are associated with a criminal street gang that operates in an area frequented by the individual and described by Sub paragraph (iv);

ARRESTED/DETAINED WITH OTHER GANG MEMBERS Evidence that the individual has been arrested or taken into custody with known criminal street gang members for an offense or conduct consistent with criminal street gang activity;

PRISON VISITATION OF A GANG MEMBER Evidence that the individual has visited a known criminal street gang member, other than a family member of the individual, while the gang member is confined in or committed to a penal institution; or

INTERNET RECRUITMENT Evidence of the individual's use of technology, including the Internet, to recruit new criminal street gang members. 

What are the laws that specifically pertain to gang members?

  • Code Criminal Procedure Art. 61.02. Criminal Combination and Criminal Street Gang Intelligence Database
  • Penal Code 15.031. Criminal Solicitation of a Minor
  • Penal Code 46.02. Unlawful Carrying Weapons
  • Penal Code 71.02. Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity
  • Penal Code 71.021 Violation of Court Order Enjoining Organized Criminal Activity
  • Penal Code 71.022. Coercing, Inducing, or Soliciting Membership in a Criminal Street Gang
  • Penal Code 71.023. Directing Activities of Certain Criminal Street Gangs
  • Penal Code 71.028. Gang-Free Zones
  • Transportation Code 521.4565. Conspiring to Manufacture Counterfeit License or Certificate

*Civil Injunctions, Health & Safety Code and the Education Codes also have laws/rules that apply.

Who can access the information contained in the gang file?

In regards to releasing information related to Criminal Street Gangs, our agency is bound by and follows the Texas Code Of Criminal Procedure Chapter 61 (Compilation of Information Pertaining to Criminal Combinations & Criminal Street Gangs).  In general, a criminal justice agency may release on request information maintained under this chapter to (1) another criminal justice agency, (2) a court, or (3) a defendant in a criminal proceeding who is entitled to the discovery of the information under Chapter 39 (Depositions & Discovery)   This same information may be captured in a RMS system that is restricted to authorized personnel.  The physical security of gang intelligence files maintains the confidentiality of the information and ensures privacy protection of individual information contained within the files.

Why don’t we disclose all gang related information to the public?

The Longview Police Department strongly supports an individual’s right to privacy and the CCP Art 61.05 strictly prohibits the release of information contained in a gang intelligence database.  This law insures the confidentiality of gang intelligence records. Disclosure to unauthorized personnel may result in the violation of the law and an individual's right to privacy.  This type of violation may endanger other individuals and compromise the confidentiality of the information itself.

Who does the Longview Police Department work with?

The Longview Police Department works with local, state and federal agencies as well as the court judicial system in an attempt to successfully prosecute confirmed members of Criminal Gangs.  We also work closely with citizens, community leaders, local resources, schools and parents of suspected and confirmed members of Criminal Gangs.   

How does being a gang member affect me?

If you are a confirmed member of a Criminal Gang involved in criminal activity, you may be subject to tougher sentences and fines at a judicial proceeding.   

If I get placed on the “Gang List”, is it forever?

No. The CCP Art 61.06 allows an adult to be on the list no more than 5 years or a juvenile no more than 2 years.  However, if the individuals activity within those parameters is found to be consistent with that of a Criminal Gang then their time on the list may be extended.

If I, as a parent, am concerned about whether my child is involved with a gang, what can I do?

You may make an appointment with a gang detective by calling 903-237-1199 and a detective will be notified of your request for contact.  You may be asked to meet with the detective at the Police Department at 302 W. Cotton St. Longview, Tx. and be required to produce picture identification. The assigned detective may review any publicly available information that may involve your child or any gang affiliation or gang activity he/she is suspected to be associated with. 

If, after this review, you so request, the detective may refer you and your child to one of the Community Based Organizations that work with “at risk youth”, your child’s School Resource Officer (SRO), or just give advice of your legal rights and obligations as a parent or caretaker.

In the event that your child is already involved in judicial proceedings, the detective will refer you to the Juvenile District Attorney's office and the Courts for further consideration. 

How should I report gang activity?

If it is an emergency, dial 9-1-1. If you have general information regarding gang activity, please refer to the Longview Police Department website or call 903-237-1199.