New anti-gang law will benefit DeKalb

Jun 13, 2012

A newly signed law aimed at weeding out gang leaders in larger cities like Chicago will be beneficial in DeKalb County as well, the chief prosecutor believes.

The statute is modeled after the federal RICO Act. It allows prosecutors to treat gangs as criminal enterprises. DeKalb County State's Atty. Clay Campbell says his office already is discussing the new law.  He says gangs are still a problem for the community.

"Because of Northern Illinois University being located in the city of DeKalb," Campbell said, " it's obviously an invitation to a lot of these ne'er do well's to come out here to apply their trade."

Campbell says gangs from larger cities have targeted DeKalb to sell drugs. He says there's a mixed bag of gang operations in the community.

"You see gang activity on a smaller scale here with a small operation," said Campbell. "Then you'll see other gang members that are operating in this area that are answering to a hierarchy in other parts of the state."  

Lawmakers approved the bill with the intention of revisiting the matter in five years. At that point, they'll try to determine whether the new rules are effective.