Outlaw motorcycle and street gang activity across the Army dropped by more than half in fiscal year 2020, a stark contrast to the year prior, according to an internal assessment by Army Criminal Investigation Command, or CID.
Only 93 individuals with an Army connection were identified last year as being linked to gang activity through either a law enforcement report or a criminal intelligence report, according to the annual assessment, which was obtained by Army Times through the Freedom of Information Act.
The year before, that number was 245, according to the same annual assessment for 2019, also obtained by a FOIA request.
CID analysts cautioned in the document that last year’s precipitous drop could be attributed to limitations imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, such as curfews and the inability to gather in public without being noticed.
The document also warned of intelligence gaps. Some local police, including in California, stopped entering individuals into gang databases due to lawsuits, and gangs have shifted to more secure social media and encryption, “leaving a blind spot for law enforcement detection of gang activities,” the assessment reads.
Regardless, the drop chronicled in 2020 is significant.