The purpose of this book has been to provide a detailed account of the realities and experiences of the police gang unit, and those who are in them. Furthermore, it was to understand the assumptions, issues, and problems that shape the police gang unit's response to the gang problem. The objective of the book, however, was not to denounce the police gang units understudy for their inadequacies, but, to understand how they respond to their community's gang problem, and the factors that might influence their response, with particular emphasis on the problems that may result from the performance of their duties.
This final chapter summarizes and discusses the results from the study. In the first section of the chapter, we discuss the five principal findings of our research and their implications for policy makers. In the second section, we present our final thoughts and make recommendations for what we believe a more effective gang unit might look like.
POLICE GANG UNITS AS AN INDIRECT RESPONSE TO AN OBJECTIVE PROBLEM
All four cities had documentable gang problems at the time that their police departments decided to establish gang units. However, that decision in each police department occurred in response to political, public, and media pressure, and not to the objective reality of the gang problem. In other words, the creation of the gang units was an indirect rather than a direct response to local gang problems.