(WBNG Binghamton) In the wake of recent arrests of self-described gang members in Broome County, law enforcement officials say they are working to control a growing problem.
It's an issue the Broome County Sheriff's Office and it's Special Investigation Unit say they battle everyday.
"Gang activity revolves around the distribution of narcotics, and in this community we have a drug distribution problem," said Broome County Capt. Fred Akshar.
The Bloods, Crips, Latin Kings and the Aryan Brotherhood gangs have all been sited in the Greater Binghamton area.
Akshar says local agencies are getting better at recognizing the signs.
"We recently instituted the field intelligence questionnaire, which even the deputies in this county have an opportunity now to ask certain questions of suspects or defendants and gleam some further information on further criminal activity," Akshar said.
Data is then sent to the jail to keep up on suspect information. Jails -- and even local schools -- are some of the top recruitment spots for gang members, Akshar said. Inside the correctional facility, it's up to officers to enforce the rules.
"If we see any type of identifiers that we think they might be involved in a group then we interview them. Inside the facility we don't separate one gang from another, so we explain to these guys that no matter what group you're with that you have to get along," said Broome County Correctional Facility Capt. Kevin Moore.
These rules prevents power in numbers, but it also helps to decrease recruitment within the jail walls and in Broome County, Moore said.