By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In the aftermath of several gang-related killings, North Philadelphia community groups, and the police department gathered at the West Kensington Ministries at Norris Square on Thursday night for a workshop on gangs.

“We have to find out constantly what they’re doing and stop dismissing it.”

Philadelphia Police Detective Jose Valdez investigates gangs and hate crimes throughout the city. He says parents have to beware that modern gangs take many forms.

“The word gang is a violent word. It’s associated with robberies, with murder, so you can’t call it a gang. ‘Dad, mom- I’m not in a gang! I’m in a squad.'”

Valdez says many teens lie to their parents, saying they are part of dance groups or other organizations when in fact they are hanging with friends, doing drugs or committing crimes.

“If the parents at one time did not know, now they should know.”

Valdez says parents need to get familiarize with their children’s habits, including who they are talking to online since many gangs recruit on Facebook and Twitter.

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