SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Gangs and the crimes behind them have become a growing concern in Springfield. Now area leaders trying to stop the problem before it gets worse.
Graffiti all over town is area leaders say is sending a bad message when it comes to gangs. That's what they're concerned about, gang activity.
Currently, there are anywhere between 600 to 700 gang members in the Springfield area. That's according to Gang Task Force member and Prevention Deputy Director Chris Davis. He says Springfield's Gang Task Force started tracking gang activity with police back in the '90's when gangs were coming in from big cities.
Now he says most of the gang members are local but still a problem. He says many of them are after drugs and have been connected to property crimes, street robbery, identity theft and trafficking. He says there is something you can do to help prevent the problem.