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Monday, 23 February 2009

Graffiti for the Insane Blood Piru - featuring a five-pointed star or other designs associated with the number five - started appearing in North Colle

Graffiti for the Insane Blood Piru - featuring a five-pointed star or other designs associated with the number five - started appearing in North College Hill 18-24 months ago, said Officer Michael Henn.Henn, an eight-year veteran of the department, said there have been small splinter gang groups in the city for as long as he can remember.With the IBP, "this is the first time they've really started becoming a genuine threat," Henn said.The word "Piru" is popular in gang culture and is mentioned in some rap music, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office.
The Bloods, a gang that has engaged in violence, drug trafficking and other criminal activity, were founded on Piru Street in Compton, Calif., in 1972.The IBP has been implicated in at least one recent assault in North College Hill.Henn said that with help from the North College Hill City School District, 13 gang members have been identified. The actual number is likely higher, he said.Gary Gellert, superintendent of the district, said school officials are aware of the gang's presence and that issues related to the IBP have been "minimal" during the school day.Gellert did say he was concerned about what happens between 3 and 7 p.m., when some students have unstructured and unsupervised time, leaving them open to influence from people outside of the community that come to North College Hill during those hours.To combat that, Gellert said the district is working with police and school staff in increasing its presence on school grounds after school.On the police side, Henn said the department is stepping up enforcement activities and trying to raise community awareness in addition to asking for the public's help."If they see groups congregating, if they see graffiti popping up, if they see anything that's suspicious, notify police," Henn said.


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