Gang Information

Gang Definition

A gang is defined as three or more persons with an established hierarchy that, through its membership or through the agency of any member, engages in a course or pattern of criminal activity.


The consequences of gang affiliation are high. Membership and association often guarantees a criminal history that can impede a person's ability or likelihood to succeed in life. Gang members also jeopardize the safety of family members. Gang members often retreat from the positive influences in their community including friends, family, schools, and community organizations. They find their only friends are active gang members who become part of their own extended family.

Prevention Steps

Steps parents can take:                 

  • Talk to your child. Discuss the consequences of becoming involved in a gang.
  • Involve your children in family and outside activities.
  • Take an active role in your child's education and progress. 
  • Monitor social media activity. 
  • Become acquainted with the resources available within your community. 
  • Work with the Elgin Police Department by identifying and intervening in gang activities before they become a problem for your family. 
  • Promptly report graffiti for removal.  
  • Report suspected gang activity immediately. In an emergency, dial 9-1-1. You may also wish to consult a gang specialist, which can be arranged through the contact information to the right.

Additional Information

To learn more about gangs, view our Guide to Gang Information (PDF). Also available in Spanish (PDF).

To learn more about gang prevention, view our Gang Prevention (PDF) brochure. Also available in Spanish (PDF).