By Jackelyn Barnard
First Coast News
JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Near homes and right in the middle of the street, there are words spray painted on the ground. "PYC, Flag St., Myrtle Avenue," says a teenager who lives in the Durkeyville area.
The teen knows what the words mean and that is why he has asked us not to use his name. "I got a lot of friends in gangs, I had one that was shot."
According to a Department of Corrections document, the DOC is aware of at least eight gangs in Jacksonville. The Ebony Kings, Shower Posse, Gang of 14 are just a few.
Lt. Randy Parmer, of JSO, helps track gang activity in the River City. When asked about those gangs, he says, "Never heard of."
He has heard of two on the DOC list, the 2-1, which he says was a gang around in the early 1990s and is no longer in existence. Lt. Parmer has also heard of the Westside Mafia. "That was a legitimate gang on the Westside. The last entry we had anything on them was in the year 2000."
Parmer admits there are dozens of gangs in Jacksonville right now that didn't make the DOC list. "Personally I don't consider it a problem. I consider them more of a concern something we track."
But some say there is a sign of a big gang problem in Jacksonville. Donald Foy, President of Jacksonville's Mad Dads group says, "Due to the high number of murders happening here we need to be aware. It appears to be gang activity here."
While Mad Dads points to all of the drive-bys and murders as a sign of a problem, JSO says it is important not to confuse a group of criminals as a group committing a crime as a gang.
The DOC gets their gang list from inmates who claim to be a part of these groups. JSO says while it has never heard of the majority of the gangs on the DOC list, JSO does use the list to help track possible gangs in the area.
First Coast News