2014 South Carolina Gang Conference being held this week - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

2014 South Carolina Gang Conference being held this week

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The 2014 South Carolina Gang Conference will be held this week; the purpose of this conference is to provide information regarding gang-related activity and trends in surrounding areas, and the Carolinas.

The conference is being held at The Myrtle Beach Marriott and Spa at Grand Dunes, located at 8400 Costa Verde Drive. The opening ceremony was held Monday.

A networking session, which will consist of facilitating information sharing, will be held each evening.

The primary focus is to supply individuals with the training needed to investigate many diverse crimes gang members commit and to identify them. Vendor booths will also be available each day at the conference, to promote law enforcement related products.

This week-long conference will include proposed topics such as: Interview Techniques, Working Undercover, SCGIA Awards, Sovereign Citizens, Case Law, Gangs and Music, Human Trafficking,  Legal updates, Homeland Security, and Gangs 101.

One topic on tap for the conference is social media. Law enforcement officials say gang members are using social media, like Facebook, to expand their violent acts and recruit gang members.

According to the FBI, there are about 33,000 violent street, motorcycle and prison gangs with about 1.4 million members nationwide.  South Carolina has more than 100 gangs, and Horry County Police say more than 2,000 people belong to 43 different gangs in our area.

Gang violence is a growing issue and is even becoming common with kids, police say.  It's important to keep an eye on what your kids are doing.  Some things to look out for from the SC Gang Investigator's Association:

  • Poor academic progress/skipping school/lack of interest in school activities.

  • Large amount of unsupervised time.

  • Increased conflict at home.

  • Frequent disciplinary problems at home/school.

  • Frequent contact with police.

  • Drawing graffiti.

  • Drawings/homework with the letters "B" or "C" crossed out, inverted or used improperly.

  • Using gang hand signs.

  • Not associating with long time friends/secretive about new friends/activities.

  • Changing hair or dress styles/having a group of friends with the same styles.

  • Changing normal routines/not coming home after school/staying out late at night.

  • Photographs with others displaying gang signs, weapons or gang-type clothing.

  • Physical signs of being involved in fights and being secretive as to how the injuries received

  • A newfound sense of bravery/bragging that they are too tough to be "messed" with.

  • Using a new nickname.

  • Demanding privacy.

  • Refusing to take part in family activities.

  • Drinking alcohol/using drugs.

  • Unusual mood swings or patterns of behavior.

  • Sudden, unexplained increase in material possessions.

  • Obsession with a particular color of clothing or desire for a particular logo.

  • Wearing baggy pants and shirts (commonly known as "sagging").

  • Wearing "Dickey" style clothing.

  • Numbers, symbols and writing on jeans.

  • Wearing pants with pockets that show gang colors when turned inside out.

  • Using different-colored shoelaces.

  • Wearing clothing with portions of logos colored-over to make them similar to gang logos.

  • Unusual writing, markings, numbers, symbols or street names on shoes or inside hats.

  • Altering logos on hats to match gang logos.

  • Wearing clothing of sports teams that use similar colors or logos of the gang.

  • Wearing colored-bandanas on their head or partially exposed in a pocket

  • Wearing belts with writing/numbers on the portion of the belt that hangs down.

  • Common tattoos: three dots "Mi Vida Loca," tear drops, pachuco cross, words with the #13 or #14 in them, pitch forks, crosses, 5- or 6-point stars, and 5- or 6-point crowns, two masks – one happy/one sad.

For more resources on gang issues in SC: http://www.scgia.org/community.asp

For more information regarding the conference contact The Horry County Police Department, Gang Investigator: Lynn Baker at 843-915-8056 or email at lbaker@horrycounty.org

Copyright 2014. WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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