Cracking Down On Gangs - New Push To Keep You Safe - WSPA.com

Cracking Down On Gangs - New Push To Keep You Safe

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State and local leaders are making a strong request: South Carolia needs tougher laws when it comes to gangs and violent criminals. State and local leaders are making a strong request: South Carolia needs tougher laws when it comes to gangs and violent criminals.
GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. -

State and local leaders are making a strong request: South Carolia needs tougher laws when it comes to gangs and violent criminals.

Greenville County Sheriff Steve Loftis says at one time there were 68 gangs in the Greenville County. He says that number has decreased, but gangs are smarter.

"Crips and Bloods have moved to Greenville and are recruiting members from other smaller, less organized gangs," said Sheriff Loftis.

Loftis tells 7 On Your Side he's spent nearly 40 years getting gangs under control. Now he wants the state to do its part.

Tuesday, Sheriff Loftis joined State Representative Phyllis Henderson in demanding a tougher state gang statue. The request comes after Columbia Police say a USC student was paralyzed, hit by a stray bullet, shot by a convicted felon.

"I have to admit maybe I haven't thought about it enough, but this shooting has caused me to take a second thought," said Rep. Henderson.

Here's what leaders want to see changed:

  • Tougher penalties for those who commit crimes while out on bond
  • Jail time and denied bond for those who commit certain felonies while out on bond
  • Elect tougher judges who don't let suspects walk
  • More community programs for young people
  • Criminal profiling laws that allow deputies the chance to approach and questions possible gang members
  • A state gang registry where convicted gang members must register (similar to sex offenders)

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