EL PASO, Texas -- The Gang Unit in the El Paso Police Department has arrested a dozen people in the last month.
According to Ringo Deleon, the president of the Texas Gang Investigators Association, there is a statewide trend where younger juveniles are becoming involved in gang activity more so than adults.
Deleon could not point to one specific reason as to why this trend is happening, but says the pandemic closing schools this past year is a likely possibility. Law enforcement also saw people get involved with criminal activity that had lost their job to the pandemic.
“People that normally have a job and can maintain and pay their bills things like that, once this happened, we saw some that normally would not be involved in criminal activity," Deleon explained.
A gang expert with the FBI says parents need to pay attention to their children's lives to be sure they are not recruited into a gang.
“Kids are young and the only way they're going to stay safe and protected is by you being actively involved in their lives and asking questions and paying attention," said Special Agent Minerva Shelton with the FBI's Safe Streets Gang Task Force.
Law enforcement also relies on help from the community to give them tips. One way to let police know is by going on to this website and submitting a tip.