By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A growing threat has not been met with growing concern but wishful thinking. That’s the opinion of an expert on gangs who says denial is delusion.

The problem with gangs, says Bobby Kipper, the former cop who founded the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence, is that too many people think they’re somewhere far away.

“We know, in our major cities, we’ve had a gang issue. Those gangs have now transferred into suburban and rural America. There’s been a 40% increase according to the National Threat Survey from the FBI in the last two years,” Kipper explains.

Kipper says the rising tide of gang membership has many causes, including fractured families, drug money in a tough economy and even safety in numbers, but he says it’s not a problem we can arrest our way out of. He offers his book No Colors as a how-to manual, but adds that the very first order of business is admitting there’s a problem.

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