BRAZOS COUNTY, Tex. (KBTX) – The BCS community is not immune to gang violence. In fact, a new study highlights some of the activity in Brazos County.
In November, the Department of Public Safety released its 2018 Texas Gang Threat Assessment. The report breaks down gang presence by region.
The assessment claims violent crime in our region accounts for 74% of gang assault arrests. It also shows that Brazos County has a large Latin King presence.
The assessment also says law enforcement agencies are continually disrupting leadership in these organizations, making it difficult for them to keep up their activity.
Many local agencies have officers and deputies assigned to track gang activity in our area.
In Bryan, there is an organization working to stop these groups from growing. Terrance Mitchell is a Christian rapper. He and his wife Lashunda have a ministry they call Grind 4 God.
"It's whatever God has for us to do,” said Mitchell. “It could be out trying to serve the youth in the community or trying to tell them to go the right way."
Mitchell uses music to reach teens who have ended up in juvenile custody. For the past decade, he’s visited prisons and juvenile centers hoping to show them that crime and violence are not the answer.
"If we can get them while they're young then we got a chance,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell says he can relate to some of the teens he mentors because of what he was exposed to growing up in Bryan.
"Just out here in these streets doing a lot of different things, growing up around here trying to be in the gangs,” said Mitchell. "It's not Los Angeles and it's not Dallas but it is gang violence here."
The Mitchell’s outreach goes beyond the detention center. They make themselves available for teens who might otherwise lean on a gang.
"A lot of people give up on the youth,” he said. “Yeah, it's hard to get to some of them but it's not as hard as people think it is. They act like they don't hear you but they hear everything you saying."