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OKLAHOMA CITY --

Police said they're dealing with gang-related violence in parts of Oklahoma City and two locations are considered particular hot spots.
Officers said that on any given night, as many as 6,000 gang members may be out on Oklahoma City streets.
"It's a guesstimate, is what that is," said Oklahoma City police Sgt. Paco Balderrama. "We don't make contact with every gang member."
Balderrama said gangs are concentrated in southwest and central northeast Oklahoma City. He said gang membership isn't necessarily up, but he has heard of gang members as young as 10 years old.
He said that the police department has doubled its gang unit in the past four years.
"Any given night, we're going to have the gang unit out there working the streets, identifying gang members and arresting gang members," he said.
Balderrama said there are six main gangs in the city. Three are Hispanic and three are black, he said. He didn't want to give their names or symbols because it would give them attention. Some of the gangs have ties to the east and west coasts.
Henreese Moore is reaching out to current and former gang members through the church she runs with her husband. She said gang members generally leave Love Street Ministries alone.
"They don't mess with our building because they know this is the house of the Lord and they don't mess with it, so they do have respect," she said. "I believe they're really crying out for help because most people, when they do things, it's trying to get attention."
She said that while police do their job, she'll continue to minister and comfort people away from a life of crime.
"I'm going to keep trying and I'm going to keep pressing on because they need to be encouraged," she said. "They need to be lifted up and we need to pray for them."

Story From: koco.com
 
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