Bipartisan Legislation To Enhance Reporting On Gang Data Is Supported By The National Sheriffs’ Association, The National Association of Police Officers, And Others
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) joined Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in introducing the bipartisan Gang Activity Reporting Act. This legislation would require the Justice Department, Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI to resume regular reporting on criminal gang trends across the country that it previously provided to Congress, but discontinued in 2009 and 2012. While the Justice Department and FBI have established units to address criminal gang activity, critical data is no longer regularly collected and shared with Congress or the public.
“As communities across the country grapple with a rise in violent crime, we must find ways to reverse this dangerous trend,” said Senator Rosen. “We know that gangs are responsible for a disproportionate amount of violent crime in the United States. By requiring a comprehensive federal report on gang membership data and trends, we can better understand how gangs are contributing to this violent crime and then take the right steps to support law enforcement and strengthen public safety.”
“To best combat violent crime, Congress must have a clear picture of membership trends and activity of criminal gangs, who are responsible for nearly half of all violent crime,” said Senator Grassley. “Unfortunately, information sharing on gangs in the past decade has largely dried up or is so delayed that it’s less useful. Our commonsense legislation revives data collection and reporting by the Justice Department, FBI, and their law enforcement partners to empower Congress to make informed and timely decisions to keep our communities safe.”
“Accurate, consistent, and reliable data is critical for ensuring U.S. Attorney’s Offices are appropriately allocating resources to the highest risk crimes,” said Steve Wasserman, President of the National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys. “As violent crime continues to rise nationwide, this legislation will ensure both Congress and the Justice Department are empowered with the necessary information about gang activity to actively address violent crime. This will enhance investigations and strengthen prosecutions. We thank Senator Grassley and Senator Rosen for leading on this issue for our communities.”
The Gang Activity Reporting Act establishes an annual report from the Justice Department on the activity of local, national, and transnational criminal gangs, including aggregate data on membership, enterprises, methods, and networks supporting criminal activity and arrest statistics. It also requires the FBI to detail its work to track gang activity and prosecute related criminal activity, as well as resources expended to combat and respond to gang-related crime.