Memphis Police Department focuses on gang problem

(WMC-TV) – In June 2011, the Memphis Police Department went back in time by creating a full-time gang unit.

It is a unit that has no shortage of work to do, in fact, the team says it is working non-stop.

We gonna be out there targeting these gangs. It's not a matter of if we coming it's when we coming," said Lieutenant Anthony Carter, Memphis Police Department.

Lt. Carter says that includes the Kingsgate Mafia.

"They are a viable gang. They do gang things. They terrorize the community," he said.

The ganged formed in an apartment complex years ago when the community was called Kingsgate.

It played a role in multiple shootings, led to a mandatory curfew, and a nuisance complaint.

On Friday, Beverly Dean was shot in the leg while protecting her daughter from ongoing, unwanted recruiting.

"They're constantly telling our teenaged daughters either you get down with the Kingsgate Mafia or you get out of the apartments," said Dean.

Lt. Carter says other parents in the apartment complex, and throughout the city, have similar stories of trying to keep their kids safe from gangs hoping to survive by seeking new members.

"It's a 24 hour a day, seven day a week job for the gang member, for the criminal. People like to say 'I'm tired.' Well, you tired but they still coming after your child, so what do you do? You keep fighting," said Lt. Carter. "You have to take a stand but then you don't (have to) take a stand by yourself. You get everybody involved."

Lt. Carter says people need to let the Memphis Police Department Gang Unit what is going on so they can help.

Right now the gang unit is merely an MPD endeavor but it is scheduled to grow in the future as other state and federal agencies get on board.

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