Reporting Steve Tawa
By Steve Tawa
MT. HOLLY, N.J. (CBS) — Caught between the gang activity in Camden and Trenton, Burlington County officials want residents to be more aware of the culture of gangs.
At a seminar today at the Burlington County Courts Facility, sheriff’s department sergeant John Zell immersed the crowd in the lingo of gangs — even how gang members exchange pleasantries.
“Before it was, ‘Blah! Blah!’ ” Zell illustrates. “Now it’s along the lines of Li’l Wayne, like, ‘Swoop, swoop!’ “
Zell says they use discrete hand signs and wear special tattoos and clothing with certain colors.
For example, he says, gang members may dress either to the left or right — wearing jewelry or bandanas to one side: “Hats cocked to a certain side, (one) pant leg rolled up.”
Officials want parents to take note of the fads their children follow, including interest in flashing hand signs, graffiti, symbols, wearing certain colors, and using nicknames.