Saturday, November 8, 2008

Gas station Safety

  1. Pay attention to your surroundings.
  2. Pick your pump with care. Wait for the pump nearest to the building.
  3. Keep valuables out of sight in your vehicle and lock the doors, even if you are going inside for just a moment.
  4. Always remove your keys and lock the car doors while you are pumping gas.
  5. Pick gas stations that are well-lit and have video-surveillance cameras at the pump.
  6. Make a list of favorite gas stations along your regular travel routes.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Profile of a Tagger

Is Your Child's Name All Over Town?

Some indications that your child may be a tagger are:

1. Your child stays out until early morning or all night.
2. Your child frequently wears a large backpack or baggy pants.
3. Clothing may be paint-stained.
4. Packs and loose clothing can be used to hold paint cans or carry graffiti tools.
5. Your child carries tools used for etching glass, such as hole punches, rocks, glass cutters, screwdrivers, awls, metal scribes, or other sharp objects. (Your child may not be able to explain exactly why he/she has this in their possession.)
6. Your child has taken up the hobby of ink marking.
7. Your child has large quantities of magic markers, shoe polish containers, or other devices used for drawing.
8. Your child sleeps during the day and is active outdoors at night.
9. Your child has paint on the tips of his/her fingers.
10. Your child frequently has permanent marker stains on his/her hands.
11. Your child has graffiti magazines, fliers, a "piece" book, or other portfolio of tags.
12. Your child possesses large quantities of "my name is" stickers or other large stickers used for "sticker tagging."
13. Your child is in possession of graffiti paraphernalia, such as markers, etching tools, spray paint, bug spray, and starch cans. The bug spray cans are used to make tags that will only show up in the rain.
14. Your child is in the age group statistically associated with tagging: ages 12 to 18 (sometimes older).
15. Your child has graffiti displays or tags on clothing, binders, backpack, and the underside of the bill of their hat. Tags you see on the walls of your neighborhood are seen on your child’s walls, books, and clothing.
16. Your child is frequently deceitful about his/her activities.
17. Your child has quantities of paint in cans, but does not have the income to afford it.
18. Your child associates with other children with the traits described above.
19. Your child’s Internet web browser has bookmarks to graffiti advocate websites.
20. Your child has photographs of graffiti and tags on walls that look familiar to you.
21. Your child actively reads the alternate graffiti news group website.
Remember that taggers come from every race, religion, social group, as well as from every socioeconomic status.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


In the second half of the 20th century, urban gangs began using graffiti as a territorial marker. This practice, known as "tagging," continues today, but is now practiced by people unaffiliated with gang activity as well.

Young males between 13 and 25 create most of the graffiti that's out there. A “tagger” will usually use a pen, marker, or spray-paint to put a unique design in a public place. The design will be proprietary to the tagger and may be initials, an illustration, or a combination of numbers and letters that is unique -- like a signature. Most tags represent the tagger's nickname, and tend to be short so as to make them easier to complete quickly.

Tagging in its most basic form is nothing more than advertisement for its author. Promience, difficulty, and proliferation of one’s tag gain the author status in the tagging community. Individual taggers or "tagging crews" of friends account for most of the graffiti you may see.

Gang-related Graffiti
Gangs use graffiti to mark territory and as a way to communicate both internally and externally. Gang graffiti is usually simple, as its authors are more interested in marking territory and communicating short messages than they are in artistic expression.
A tag created by a gang member features the name of his gang. Tag wars occur when members of another gang use another color to cross it out and leave their own tag. Gangs undergo this process to claim their turf. The more artistic the image, the more likely it's the work of a tagger crew and not a gang. Gangs don't bother as much with art; they are concerned only about making their presence known.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Is my Child a Gang Member?

If you see a cluster of the following in your teen, start asking questions:

Insistence on wearing certain items or styles or colors of clothing or jewelry. Tattoos, especially temporary ones or ones drawn on the skin with ink. Graffiti marks on or in notebooks or bookbags.

Fascination with gang- or violence-related themes in movies or music. Truancy for reasons that are vague or unacceptable. Hand signals, strange words or other patterns of covert communication or patterns of movement among neighborhood youth who associate with your child.

Possessions of value (bikes, jackets, sneakers) that suddenly appear without your child having the financial means to buy them. Insistence on spending time with only a few people instead of a wide circle of friends based on common interests. Minor run-ins with the law or curfew violations.

Withdrawal from family activities or secretiveness about whereabouts or activities. Evidence of drug involvement; while all drug use may not be gang-related, drugs and gangs tend to "go hand in hand,"

Desire to carry, or actual carrying of, a "weapon" such as a knife or even scissors or a nail file. Fascination with weapons.
Questionable activities among your son's friend's parents, older siblings or other relatives. Be especially concerned if your son is developing "friendships" with young adult males a few years older than he is, especially if those friends also have had trouble with the law.

You need to be aware that gangs "need" kids of a certan age. Gangs, they say, have to have someone to do visible and dangerous things, such as deliver drugs or messages on the street -- tasks that more sophisticated adults might balk at. Young teens are easy marks because
1) they may not understand the seriousness of the legal consequences of their actions;
2) they may be willing to do things because of the promise of "big" money that would seem insignificant to adults, and
3) they're more easily sucked in by the power, prestige and "glamor"of being in a gang.

Gangs are alluring to kids because they offer them structure, support and security --things that become even more attractive if they're missing at home. Like a family, a gang offers a sense of belonging, But unlike a family, the structure and support are not their to encourage the child to stay in school and improve his own life but to continue and enhance the gang and its illegal activities. And the security, is only there so long as it's convenient for other gang members. "You could say to kids, "If you get in trouble, do you think gang members will do anything for you?'

Speeding on Ford

It has been brought to the WNW attention that speeding on Ford has become a problem. While posting speed limit signs might help slow down drivers, other safety measures might need to be put into place. One suggestion would be to have someone out there with a radar gun to monitor drivers speed and to take down licence numbers and to turn them over to the SPD. Another suggestion would be to implement fake speed bumps just to remind the drivers to slow down.

Monday, November 3, 2008

How to prevent attraction to gangs

While no parent can guarantee that a child won't get attracted to a gang, there's less risk if parents:

Realize that it's not just urban kids who get involved. Gangs can exist in the suburbs or rural areas, and urban gang members travel to suburban hangouts such as malls.

Don't think girls are immune to gang influence. While there are some all-girl gangs, girls also can get involved on their own, or through friends, boyfriends or relatives.

Be alert to your surroundings in the neighborhood and take steps to improve it. Don't always assume the movements and patterns of behavior of youths in your immediate vicinity are innocent.

Pay attention, know places and people your children need to avoid. Know your children's friends and families. Find out about them before you allow your kids to spend time with new people. Know your child's whereabouts. Although young teens need some time with friends, families need systems and routines for checking on each other.

Young teens need supervision. Provide structured activities for your children. Kids involved in recreational activities they enjoy, have less free time for others to use unhealthy influence's on them. Encourage your children's academic life and other talents. Steering children in positive directions builds self-esteem through accomplishment.

Learn all you can about gang signs and symbols and activities. Attend programs and tap into these resources. Teach kids not to use drugs. Sometimes Gangs and drugs go hand in hand.

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