Last week, the local newspaper released the below warning concerning gang initiations and the potential danger to innocent victims. Some condemned the local police for "scaring" everyone and say the threat is a joke. I can't say if the threat is serious or not, but I do know our town is riddled with violent gangs. The town sits on the county line that divides the Nortenos (northerners) from the Surenos (southerners) gangs and this is the meeting place to stage wars. (Here's a link that talks of Delano being the dividing line: http://www.gangsacrossamerica.com/profiles_nortenos.php) My husband and I taught a class at a local continuation high school and dealt with the issue of gangs frequently. Just as one must commit some monstrous crime to be accepted into a gang, if one chooses to leave the gang he must subject himself to a beating. The gang will beat the person nearly to death and leave them to die. (To learn more about gangs visit http://www.knowgangs.com/) One of the boys in our class was convinced to leave his gang after his brother went to jail for a murder they both committed but the one brother did not get caught. His beating nearly killed him, but he was willing to take the beating to leave gang life. Shortly after he was "out," we were talking to him at school when suddenly a car stopped in the middle of the road, three gangsters jumped out and attacked this boy's best friend. This boy stood there with clenched jaw, tight fists, and watched as his friend's head was pounded into the concrete curb. The gangsters did their damage, jumped back in their car and took off. I looked at this young man who had recently gave up gang life, held his arm and said, "I'm proud of you." He looked me in the eye and responded, "That was the hardest thing I ever had to do, but I knew if I helped my friend I would be back in." This was nearly 12 years ago and this young man is now the on-campus security guard for the school. Gang life is real, it's hard, and often deadly. Since the addition of several prisons to our little town, gang activity has increased. We have six prisons within a seven mile radius with one of those being a federal prison. One of the state prisons here in Delano, is a level four with San Quentin and Pelican Bay being the only two with higher security in the state. It houses approximately 5,000 prisoners. Overbooked, and understaffed. Even so, God dwells with us in this town and His angels keep guard around us.
Delano Warns of Potential Gang Attacks
TO ALL CITIZENS OF DELANO AND SURROUNDING AREA
On 03-27-08, the Delano Police Department Gang Unit received information that a California Criminal Street Gang is going to be holding gang initiations in the cities of Delano and McFarland. Prospective members are to collide their vehicles into random vehicles from behind. As the driver of the victim vehicle exits, the prospective members will open fire.
As always, the Delano Police Department is concerned with the safety of all Delano residents and therefore, we are strongly suggesting that everyone use extreme caution if they are involved in a rear end collision. If citizens are involved in a similar type vehicle collision they should drive directly to the Delano Police Department to report motor vehicle collisions until further notice. The Delano Police Department is located at 1022 12th Avenue.