Gang crime has tripled in the state's rural area since 2005, "far outpacing urban centers more commonly associated with gang problems," Haas reports. Larger cities, like Nashville, have had success in reducing gang violence, but rural communities "suddenly find themselves facing gang murders, robberies and drug distribution," writes Haas.
Gywn told Haas gangs migrate to rural areas to escape crackdowns in cities, and because rural police forces don't always have the resources to fight gang violence. Gwyn has partnered with local law enforcement and District Attorney General James Woodall of southwest Tennessee to create a gang task force to address the issue in rural areas. (Read more)