(LAS VEGAS, KXNT)–The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is changing its process for identifying gang members.
Juveniles identified and documented for the first time as a gang member, or affiliated with a gang, will be visited at home by police.
Adults will receive notification by mail. Metro spokesman Officer Jose Hernandez tells KXNT’s Fred Halstied “Gang investigations are going to continue. There is not going to be a change in the way we investigate crimes. What we’re going to change is how we identify and document gang members and gang affiliates”.
Herenandez says anyone who fells they have been mistakenly designated as a gang member will have the right to appeal that status to the police department.
The change in policy came after meetings with community groups and interested parties, including the American Civil Liberties Union. Nevada ACLU spokesman Alan Lichtenstein tells KXNT “People who are designated as gang members and put into the gang member data base wouldn’t even know about it, even though it might affect their lives significantly down the road. So that was really unacceptable.”