National Youth Gang Survey Analysis

Gang Units

Respondents provided information regarding the operation of a gang unit in their agencies. “Gang unit” is defined in the survey as “a specialized unit with at least two officers primarily assigned to handle matters related to youth gangs.”

  • Approximately four in ten law enforcement agencies with a gang problem operated a gang unit in 2006, including 54 percent of larger cities.
  • With the exception of smaller cities, the percentage of agencies operating a gang unit increased yearly and was highest in 2006.
  • In 2006, 31 percent of law enforcement agencies with a gang problem that did not operate a gang unit reported that one or more officers were assigned to handle gang problems exclusively.

Gang Unit bar chart

Gang Unit
2003 2004 2006
Larger Cities 51.4% 51.2% 53.9%
Suburban Counties 24.4% 27.0% 32.5%
Smaller Cities 14.0% 17.8% 13.5%
Rural Counties 2.4% 6.9% 8.5%

Analysis for this section pertains only to law enforcement agencies reporting gang problems. Please see the Prevalence of Gang Problems section.

Suggested citation: National Gang Center. National Youth Gang Survey Analysis. Retrieved [date] from http://www.nationalgangcenter.gov/Survey-Analysis.