Walker, Texas Kitty (walkertxkitty) wrote in little_details,
Walker, Texas Kitty

Law Enforcement term for catalog of gang tattoos, database

Setting:  Dallas in the 1990s

This information is being used for a crime/law enforcement story line.  The MC is trying to trace the origins of a series of brands/tattoos found on murder victims, the most recent of which was a stripper.  He suspects, because the markings also turned up on an abandoned infant and a small child confiscated from a flop house, that this might be a human trafficking ring.  I want him comparing photos from the crime scenes and police reports to photos of gang tattoos but I cannot remember what that catalog is called or which criminal database(s) it comes from.

Search terms used:  gang tattoos, gang identification, gang behavior, cataloging, law enforcement references, gang tattoo database, tagging

I found through Google that the technique I'm describing actually exists because there are links to law enforcement courses using it and to college syllabuses referencing it, but I'm unable to find anything else.

The closest I got to an answer was this link:

The IACP Research Center

In the section on neighborhood safety it says:

"National Gang Intelligence Center

"NGIC supports anti-gang efforts by law enforcement through analysis of federal, state, local and tribal intelligence on the growth, migration and criminal activities of gangs and helps target those gangs which are the most significant threats to communities throughout the United States.

"The National Gang Targeting, Enforcement & Coordination Center

"GangTECC is a national multi-agency, anti-gang task force aimed at achieving maximum national and local impact by disrupting and dismantling America’s most violent regional and national gangs.

"If you are working significant cases against large-scale regional or national gangs, please contact GangTECC/NGIC to see what national assistance can help you disrupt and dismantle those gangs. It is requested that photos of gang tattoos be submitted to the NGIC via email for cataloging. Submissions should include gang name (if known), date, street address, city, state (where photo was captured) and associated offense."

I then searched "National Gang Intelligence Center" and "NGIC".

There's a link, but it appears to be more about terrorism efforts and budgeting constraints than about cataloging gang tattoos and other gang behaviors.

The FBI link is no better and the Department of Justice link was just as unhelpful.

I need the following information:

- history of the NGIC (pertinent data would include when it was founded so I can determine if its use is suitable for this story at all)

- if such database exists and whether or not it would be accessible to standard law enforcement officers

- an actual visual catalog of known gang tattoos or tagging would be helpful but not necessary

- if the organization post-dates my story time line, are there instances of individual metro areas having such databases (I can still write the story with plausibility)
Tags: 1990-1999, usa: government: law enforcement (misc), usa: texas, ~body modification: tattoos
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