The colder months in Bryan are also sometimes the quietest when it comes to crime, including gang activity. That doesn't mean Bryan's police officers aren't on the lookout.
Take a recent Friday-Saturday night stint on the streets for the Directed Deployment Team. Over that period, they encountered three vehicles, along with three distinct stories of people inside.
The first was driven by Jason, and was pulled over for a traffic violation. The car was listed in Bryan's database of gang members and associates as having a gang connection. Sure enough, Jason told DDT members that much of his family was involved in the Latin Kings, one of the biggest gangs in town.
"He told me his family that are involved said they would beat him if he got involved, which is atypical," said Sgt. Shane Bush, who heads up the DDT.
Indeed, authorities say many times, a family's lineage is littered with gangs, fathers, uncles, brothers and sons all involved in gangs. But with Jason, he says he's rejected that life, and his planning on going to college soon.
"I'm trying to keep my head up," he said. "I'm not even trying to mess with none of that stuff. I'm in my own business. My business is my business."
Another person connected with the Latin Kings was pulled over shortly after Jason was let off with a warning.
Authorities are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt through their intelligence gathering that Chris is a King, though after he was arrested for driving without a licence, he maintained he was not in a gang.
"For real, I keep telling you all, I ain't in no gang, and you don't believe me," he told police. When asked about his clothing choice, he replied, "man, it's cold out here, man."
The amount of clothing wasn't at issue, but rather, the colors and style. Chris was wearing gold and black, the color of the Latin Kings. His baseball cap -- Pittsburgh Pirates, black and gold -- was cocked to the left. As a "people nation" gang, Kings favor the left side when their hand gestures and clothes.
Chris says he's been wrongfully pulled over and harrassed by authorities, but within the constitution, Bryan Police say they will make their presence felt for anyone that associates with gangs.
The Kings rivals are the Surenos, and the next night, a car with members was stopped when it appeared some passengers were not wearing seatbelts. When authorities approached, they say they found everyone buckled in.
One member spoke with News 3 on condition of anonymity, saying he had joined the gang four months earlier after members of the Kings beat him up.
"I really don't care what people think about us," he said, adding that as long as he was safe with his crew, he was fine.
The Sureno said he had heard shootings in the night, but had never been involved in them, only physical confrontations with rivals.
Asked whether there was any way these rivals could come together, the member's simple response was, "as long as the Latin Kings are around, no sir."
And when proposed the idea of how he would get out of the gang, the only way he said he'd do it is if "a lot of Kings get beat up."
The new policy of Bryan's police chief, Ty Morrow, is to take the fight to the gangs, meaning an increased emphasis on the DDT, the Drug Enforcement Team, and the newly created Neighborhood Enforcement Team, which takes complaints and concerns of citizens, then forwards that information they gather to analysts.
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