By Pilar Arias
Gangs and their associates remain a significant threat to public safety in our state.
That message came directly from the Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw Tuesday following the release of the Gang Threat Assessment.
“This report provides an overview of gangs operating in Texas, which gives law enforcement important information to help protect our communities from these violent organizations,” McCraw said in a news release. “Gangs and their associates remain a significant threat to public safety in our state, not only because of their penchant for violence and criminal activity, but also their relationships with other criminal organizations, such as Mexican cartels.”
The Texas Gang Threat Assessment is based on the collaboration between multiple law enforcement and criminal justice agencies across the state and nation, whose contributions were essential in creating this comprehensive overview of gang activity in Texas.
The assessment details the state’s systematic approach to evaluating and classifying gangs in order to identify which organizations represent the most substantial threat. The report reveals that there are as many as 100,000 gang members across the state, with most of them belonging to one of the following four gangs: Tango Blast, Latin Kings, Texas Mexican Mafia and Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13).
More than half of all tier-ranked gang members incarcerated in Texas prisons are serving sentences for violent crimes such as robbery, homicide and assault. Gang members also utilize social media to communicate, boast and recruit.
To view the full Texas Gang Threat Assessment, please visit the DPS website.