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Wesley D. McBride

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Sergeant Wesley D. McBride, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (ret.), spent 28 of his 35 year career in law enforcement investigating gangs.  From 1972, until his retirement in 2002, he continuously worked street gang investigations as either an intelligence officer, investigator or team leader.  In addition to being a nationally recognized gang expert, he is the past president of the California Gang Investigator’s Association and the National Alliance of Gang Investigator’s Association.  Wesley McBride is the co-author of Understanding Street Gangs.

 

According to the book description of Understanding Street Gangs, it “offers a unique and pioneering approach to the street and prison gang dilemma and provides both local and national perspective. This popular book is used by colleges, universities, and academies, and also for advanced officer training throughout the country. The authors are leading authorities on gang activities. No other book offers such insight or understanding into this escalating threat. It covers causative factors, family structure and profiles, socioeconomic pressures, and drugs. It also defines gangs, membership, structure and organization, communication, and measurements of gang violence, offers perspective on gang activity, and suggests possible solutions.”

One reader of Understanding Street Gangs said, “This book was great for research purposes. Understanding gangs and their signs was pretty much on point. The only complaint would be that it's from the 80's. Lot of the gang MO is still true but there is a section about "Stoner" Gangs, which are 80's metal heads. Basically if you wear a band shirt, jeans and sneakers you fit the dress of a Stoner gang. Their graffiti is band names like Rush and Twisted Sister (this should tell you the age of the book) and "Satanic" things. Also that car clubs are gangs but they don't have a certain style of dress or have graffiti. If you want a good laugh you can read it but for research or academic purposes skip over those sections.  The information on all the other gangs is good. The book talks about their dress, their graffiti, their gang signs, etc. Even on the booking and how they keep gang profiles on each member, showing the documents that they use as well. Good for research or a quick good laugh in some areas.”

One reader of Understanding Street Gangs said, “I bought this book probably in '87 at Long Beach Uniform. It had good information at the time of publication concerning the gangs in the greater LA area at the time. Gang associations, graffiti, turf, activity, and turfs are covered. Crimes known to be done by certain gangs are covered, heredity of the Latino gangs, tattoos, etc. are both covered and photos shown. Seems like a good informational book with little narrative about what society should do about them. I was surprised I am the first reviewer of the book. I had thought a policeman or trainee would have long ago reviewed this book.”


Understanding Street Gangs
Robert K. Jackson  More Info

About the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department is the largest sheriff's department in the world. In addition to specialized services, such as the Sheriff's Youth Foundation, International Liaison and Employee Support Services, the Department is divided into ten divisions, each headed by a Division Chief.

 

 There are three patrol divisions (Field Operations Regions I, II and III), Custody Operations Division, Correctional Services Division, Detective Division, Court Services Division, Technical Services Division, Office of Homeland Security, Administrative Services Division, and Leadership and Training Division.

 

The Sheriff's Department of Los Angeles County was formed in April, 1850. Elections for the office of Sheriff were held annually until 1882, when the term was increased to two years; in 1894 the term was increased to four years. The first Sheriff of Los Angeles County was George T. Burrill and his staff consisted of two Deputies.

 

Twenty-four men have served Los Angeles County as Sheriff since 1850: nineteen were elected and six were appointed by the Board of Supervisors to serve the unexpired term of their predecessors. Two were killed in the line of duty. Of those appointed, four were re-elected to the office. The youngest man ever elected to the office of Sheriff was William B. Rowland, who was sworn in when he was 25 years old (in 1871), and was re-elected three times. The record for the longest consecutive service goes to Sheriff Eugene Biscailuz, who completed 51 years in the department, from deputy in 1907, to being appointed Sheriff in 1932 and then retiring in 1958. Our previous Los Angeles County Sheriff, Sherman Block, entered the department as a Deputy Sheriff in 1956 and continued up through the ranks until he was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to succeed Sheriff Pitchess in 1982. In June of 1982, Sheriff Block was elected to a full four year term as Sheriff of Los Angeles County.

 

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