MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - The gang report from the Texas Department of Public Safety for the 2015-2016 year is in. It says several gangs are present in the West Texas area. Even though, they are here local law enforcement says they aren't posing violent threats.
Gangs aren't what they used to be, graffiti and representing a color aren't trademarks anymore.
Midland Police Department (MPD) Officer D.J. Goswick's job is to interact with gang members, he knows who they are and sometimes what they're up to.
"They don't cause a lot of problems here, we stay on top of it when we see a new trend developing that we think may turn into something big and we make it a point to work those cases and put a stop to it as quick as we can," said Goswick.
During a federal drug bust in 2016, members of La Familia Motorcycle Club were arrested and their property seized. Goswick said the most popular gang in Midland are the West Texas Tangos, they're a branch of the prison gang, Tango Blast.
"Most of their organized activity is gonna go down while they're in prison, while they're behind bars that's when they're going to have a ranking structure and they're going to have some sort of goal," said Goswick. "Whatever it might be, distributing narcotics or some sort of enforcement."
While the gang members are out in the street, officers come across them for breaking the law. Goswick said common charges gang members face are related to drugs, assaults and illegal weapons.
"A lot of times they're not interested in telling us what's currently going on with the gang but at the very least you can list that person as being involved with it and look at it as what are they doing and what is the gang doing," said Goswick.
Goswick said numbers on the DPS report for Midland are so alarming because unlike most cities the Midland police department keeps record of gang members.