Task force takes on gang problem - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Task force takes on gang problem

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- The Waterloo Police Department is taking a new approach to an old problem. Recently it announced the formation of a gang task force. The group will be made up of officers from the Waterloo Police Department, The Tri-County Drug Task Force, as well as community and school leaders.

"We're expanding it to other law enforcement agencies. We're getting our school liaison officers involved, probation and parole. We just have to broaden our intelligence base for gathering information and confronting this problem," Waterloo Police Chief Dan Trelka said.

In 2008 we caught up with Sergeant Keith Rogers. At the time he was the primary investigator who followed gang trends in Waterloo.

"If you can transport drugs to Waterloo, Davenport, or anywhere in Iowa from Chicago and make a 300 or 400 percent market-up on it, that's what gangs are about, dealing drugs and making profits," Rogers said.

Chief Trelka says these gangs come from a variety of areas including Chicago, Los Angeles, and some are even home grown.

"The gang issues here in the Cedar Valley is no greater that any other issues and or any other community the same size. We realize that if we get a good handle on this situation we can have a positive impact on our crime rate," Trelka said.

Gang task force members will also be available to give educational presentations to civic and government groups. The topics can range from gang prevention to identifying gang signs in your community.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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