Hundreds of law enforcement gather to combat gangs - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hundreds of law enforcement gather to combat gangs


Preventing street gangs in the Midwest. That's what more than 300 members of law enforcement are combating this week for the 24th Annual Midwest Gang Conference in Dubuque. Local law enforcement is using this as a chance to collaborate with surrounding big cities.

"Any community you're going to have a few individuals who are gonna gravitate toward street gangs," Midwest Gang Investigators Association Chairman Bruce Ferrel said.

Monday afternoon, more than 300 law enforcement members gathered at the Grand River Center for the annual conference.

"As the trends are showing that are gangs are moving out of those urban areas into the smaller communities because of smaller resources and smaller staffs," Ferrel said.

That's why the conference offers topics like gangs and the Internet, interview and interrogation techniques, and region-based gangs.

"Not only networking with people in your own community and share around but also networking with people in and around you in the Midwest and across the country so you can have more efficient and effective investigations," Ferrell said.

And those investigations are taking place in towns across the Midwest. But that's because they are moving.

"The Chicago-based gangs have basically been migrating westward and southward and some Los Angeles based gangs going east and north," Dubuque Corporal Steve Eastvadt said.

Eastvadt says meeting with peers will help identify problems and trends many bigger cities, like Chicago and Milwaukee, are already seeing.

"The type of crime changes, as we stop it they have to find a way to change their patterns to be successful again and whatever we have in Milwaukee or we have in Chicago. It's gonna be in Minneapolis within 3-4 months. It's gonna be in Dubuque, Des Moines it's gonna be through out the entire Midwest," Milwaukee Police Lt. Charles Berard said.

This is the fifth year Dubuque has hosted the conference.

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