The Bexar County District Attorney's Office has mounted a multi-front assault against gangs and gang related activity in Bexar County. In her continuing effort to make our community a safer place to live and raise our families, District Attorney Susan D. Reed has initiated several new programs.
This program seeks a civil remedy of injunctive relief to stop gangs and gang members from continued involvement in activities that were precursors to identifiable criminal or gang-related acts within a specific geographical location. A neighborhood was identified as being under siege by two rival gangs. A suit was filed in the civil courts to enjoin the gangs from their activities. This gang injunction is the first successful suit of its type in the State of Texas and has become a viable tool for the law enforcement community. The terrorized neighborhood now lives in peace and quiet, secure in the knowledge that these gangs and their members will no longer conduct their reign of terror in their neighborhood. Due to the great success of this injunction, other neighborhoods are being identified for future gang injunction relief.
This program was instituted in response to the large number of crimes committed against citizens and property, both public and private, by gangs and individual gang members in Bexar County. Crimes attributed to gang activity include capital murder, drive by shootings, drug dealing, burglary and theft. The program is simple: if the suspect/defendant is a documented gang member or the criminal act is gang-related in some way, the defendant's file is identified and tracked to ensure that he/she is punished to the fullest extent of the law. This also means that the suspect/defendant's case will be evaluated to determine if it can be enhanced by applying the Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity violation provided for by the Texas Penal Code.
An Assistant District Attorney has been assigned to act as a liaison between the Bexar County District Attorney's Office and the Gang Units of the various law enforcement agencies. This appointment was made to enhance communication and sharing of intelligence on specific gangs, gang members and their activities. As a result, effective and appropriate prosecutorial strategies and handling of specific case files is assured.
For more information, visit the Department of Justice National Criminal Justice Reference Service website or contact the Bexar County Criminal District Attorneys Office - Victims Assistance Program.