With gang activity seen in communities across the Commonwealth, a western Kentucky prosecutor says it requires their full attention. Prosecutors across Kentucky could benefit from a statewide data base that tracks the members of criminal gangs. Police are already at work, expanding their existing criminal information network to include such gangs. Christian County Commonwealth’s Attorney Lynn Pryor says the expanded system would only monitor confirmed gang members.
“Now there are lots of things that go into that validation. A person can’t say, I’m in a gang and they are automatically validated. It’s like a point system and they would have to accumulate so many points in order to be considered a validated gang member,” said Pryor.
Although gang activity is a part of the landscape in more than a few Kentucky communities, it’s still, too often, a taboo subject. Christian County Commonwealth’s Attorney Lynn Pryor says some people would still like to keep gang activities under wraps.
“There are a number of people who don’t want to talk about it because they don’t want to scare business away and then don’t want to scare people away from moving to communities in Kentucky. But, our position is we would much rather acknowledge the problem and address it than just burying our heads in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist,” added Pryor.
While admitting the state doesn’t face the same gang issues found in Los Angeles or New York, Christian County Commonwealth’s Attorney Lynn Pryor says it should still be a law enforcement and community priority.
“We do see an increasing amount of violence, intimidation of witnesses, retaliating against victims and participants in the legal process….that’s what we’re really trying to fight against now,” explained Pryor.
Pryor says drug trafficking continues to be a key component in much gang activity.