Marshall PD addressing ‘hybrid juvenile gang’ issues

Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 3:34 PM CDT
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MARSHALL, Texas (KSLA) - Marshall, Texas has been dealing with what’s called “hybrid juvenile gangs.”

Over the past couple of months, these gangs have been operating a little differently than a traditional gang, but it’s still causing major problems for the city and its residents.

Police say these gangs are much less organized and have less loyalty, with members seemingly switching back and forth in terms of their affiliations. Sources say members will wake up some days undecided about whether or not they’ll participate in gang activity.

Demetrial MacFarland, leader of Marshall Against Violence, is frustrated with the uptick in crime.

“It’s sad. As a parent, and as a father, our goal is to figure out how we stop this,” she said.

Marshall Police Chief Cliff Carruth feels the same frustration towards these groups.

“Hybrid, it’s not the traditional sense of a gang, meaning your traditional Crips and Bloods. It also means that the gangs tend to change, the individuals change, it’s not as fixed,” he said.

Carruth says these hybrid gangs have been behind an uptick in burglaries, shootings and even homicides in the past few months.

MacFarland and her anti-violence group want to find a purpose for the troubled youth.

“If there’s no one positive in their lives to offer them or show them a better way, what more do we expect?”

The Marshall Police Department says with the help of other groups, and extra pressure, they have a handle on the situation.

“We’ve partnered with the sheriff’s office, we have a violent crime task force, our CID working together. Working with the schools, working with the criminal justice systems, not just a one pronged approach. For now, the violence has slowed down, and we’ll continue to work with the different groups to maintain that,” said Carruth.

MPD and Marshall Against Violence encourages members of the community to put efforts toward helping lead the youth in the right direction.

“I think the key is looking at new and creative ways to solve that. Again, having the community step up and come up with a program to address the parenting and those issues, jobs, and getting those kids focused on something that is positive early is something that needs to happen,” said Carruth.