Journal Article

Policing Gangs and Extremist Groups: A Different Viewpoint

Charles F. Williams

in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

Volume 3, issue 3, pages 275-280
Published in print January 2009 | ISSN: 1752-4512
Published online August 2009 | e-ISSN: 1752-4520 | DOI:
Policing Gangs and Extremist Groups: A Different Viewpoint

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Charles F. Williams is currently a lecturer in Criminal Justice Studies, Behavior & Social Sciences at Collin College and an Outside Consultant Homeland Security. He recently retired from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where he was a supervisory Special Agent. In this paper, he looks at U.S. homegrown, transnational extremist groups acting at a national level, which he argues present a clear and present danger to local, county, state, federal and international policing cooperation. This essay offers a different viewpoint that posits that these groups are not under control in their current form. They are changing their ‘modus operandi’ (MO) while remaining engaged in all areas of criminality. The paper advocates gangs to be designated as terrorist organizations so that the provisions of the USA Patriot Act, intelligence agencies, and military intelligence can be deployed against them. It argues that informal, horizontal intelligence-sharing networks should be used to respond to these groups, as opposed to a vertical, stovepipe organized intelligence-sharing structure, and that the U.S. experience with gangs may be applicable to agencies in other countries that must confront rapidly changing transnational gangs.

Journal Article.  2813 words. 

Subjects: Policing

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