Friday 24th February 2017

Today I spent the morning with my mum and Lyn at the cottage, having breakfast and some time in the sun. I had my lunch and then drove up the coast to do another one of my ridealongs with the police. I conducted some further interviews with the gang unit Detectives and heard more about the gang issues here in Southern Florida – the influence of social media and the way in which the ‘no snitching’ policy within communities makes it a continuing challenge to police the issues. I also learned more about the post-Ferguson effect on the police, the way in which officers feel it has restricted their ability to be proactive and also the surge of public support ¬†they feel they have had recently within some of the communities in light of some of the previous criticisms. I am learning so much about the gang issues here but also the experiences of police officers at a time of huge transition.

During the ride along the officers took me into some of the other housing projects I had not yet seen and I saw some of the proactive work with gang members in the community where they check for bandanas, colours etc and for potential for ‘beef’ to kick off between rivals. I saw firsthand how quite a few wider members of the community also come up and talk to officers, thank them for the work they are doing and give them encouragement. It was a very interesting evening but I was very late home – after 1am, but having gained some further insights into the gang issues and the policing of the issues.

Tomorrow, hopefully a relaxing day with my family.

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