MPD OFFERS INFORMATION FOR PARENTS AND YOUTH ON UNDERSTANDING AND AVOIDING GANGS Joining a gang or crew can give you a sense of belonging and acceptance, but often being associated with one can lead to dangerous consequences. The MPD has developed a brochure that offers some ways to explore alternatives to gang membership and how to safely “leave” a gang if you’re already involved. Some of these steps take time, but with dedication and the support of your family, you can change your life. A gang is a group of individuals that band together for a common cause and are involved in criminal activity. Many gangs are highly organized and operate across state lines. A crew is a more loosely-knit group, often based on a neighborhood. These are usually individuals who grew up in or who have family roots in that neighborhood. Regardless of gang or crew affiliation, both groups are often associated with a variety of crimes, including narcotics trafficking, gun violations, assaults, and even homicides. Female gangs or crews are growing in DC as well. Gang violence is a community problem. The MPD’s webpage on gangs helps explain who joins these groups and why and provides signs of possible gang involvement. It also offers suggestions for what parents can do to protect their children and how young people can avoid getting involved.