Lanett Police planning to crack down on city’s gang problem

Lanett Police planning to crack down on city’s gang problem

LANETT, AL (WTVM) - Lanett's Police Chief Angie Spates says she's not interested in candy coating a major crime issue facing her city.

Chief Spates says Lanett has a dangerous gang problem, and she estimates there are at least 300 gang members in the city. She adds that nearly 70 percent of all felony crimes committed in the city can be linked back to gang activity.

Over the weekend, a 16-year-old was injured in what authorities believe is a gang-related shooting in the Jackson Heights housing complex off North 14th Street. It's the second suspected gang related shooting in Lanett in less than two weeks.

Jackson Heights is a hot bed of gang activity, according to police.

In fact, they did extra patrols in the area over the weekend to help curb crime. But the shooting happened the one night police did not have an extra presence.

"Everyone was out here having a nice time...then all of a sudden a few cars came around the bend and there was a drive by shooting," explained Santerio Potts. "We have kids out here… it's just bad."

Chief Spates says police do have a plan of attack, and citizens need to be alert and aware of what's happening.

Copyright 2014 WTVM. All rights reserved.