11/21/2007

Mo. town breaks street gang, becomes model for restoring order

Task force uses new legal tool to nab gang members:

By Robert Patrick
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
 
JENNINGS, Mo.  In the summer and fall of 2005, Jennings had a big problem: Street gangs were terrorizing the city.

"The gangs almost ballooned overnight," said Dave Joyce, a detective with the increasingly outflanked Jennings police. "There was just shooting after shooting after shooting."

Of the 12 murders from 2004 to early 2007, each involved an illegal gun. Seven were gang or drug-related, as were all 31 nonfatal shootings, Joyce said. Residents were becoming afraid to step outside.

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