I’ve developed a real respect for the gang task force. Recently there was a staff member who approached me needing to play eraser because a hit was put out on their brother. This is a slippery slope because unknown to many, gangs operate more and more like NGO military and guerrilla groups everyday. This particular gang is one of the top ten largest in the country, and they subcon positions out to other gangs when an individual is out of reach (not for long) or has an advantage they don’t. They specialize in recruiting and recon. For those of you who are not familiar with these terms, in civi language it means they specialize in building partnerships, alliances, gathering information, and composing dirt files on everyone as collateral. Believe it or not, most of their violence is subcontracted out, but it doesn’t stop them from criminal activity. Despite any public opinion, there’s something to be said about organized crime.
So when a colleague needs to play eraser, it’s like a fun game of identity theft. Let’s start with new “staff”. We bring on some extras that resemble this individual and provide similar, if not same services. We even go to the length of ensuring they have a similar name. Stagger work shifts. Pile on stupidity to public who ask questions, “Who? What? I don’t know who that is.” Add a rumour of remarriage or devastation in family matters that implies cut-off from all family. (Honour and disgrace run families who are often associated with gangs). Oh yes, and of course, call your local gang task force. I was so pleased with the service they offered and how quickly they move. They allow the client to maintain integrity, and truly encourage them without sugarcoating or doubting. Police have come a long way since I was a kid. It really is a different kind of beast. For now, we’ll sit tight, ride out the new year and watch carefully. I will say, no better place to be than in an agency that handles this stuff on a regular basis. My colleague has been counting their blessings, and I know staff is only too game to participate in this round.