Sheriff: Gang Activity Rising in Henderson Co.

HENDERSON, KENTUCKY -- For Henderson Co. Sheriff Ed Brady, Henderson has always been a safe community, but recently, there have been some troubling developments.

"We've just got to finally say the words out loud - we're having some gang issues. And a lot of people are fearful to say that," he said. "It used to be in Henderson, you never heard a shots fired call and now you hear them pretty often."

This week, Brady announced that a joint drug investigation with the Pennyrile Narcotics Task Force had charged 93 people with drug crimes, with more expected to follow. But that investigation has also uncovered from concerning issues, with detectives and deputies seizing drugs, guns, cash and other contraband.

"Those are the things gangs deal with," he said. "They deal in drugs. They deal in stolen weapons. They deal in threats and fear and things in that nature.

Gangs aren't unique to Henderson. Evansville, just north of the Ohio River, has been fighting a growing gang problem for the past decade.

"If Evansville already has established people here and you're looking to get established but you don't want the conflict of trying to knock someone off their turf, you're going to go into the surrounding communities," Evansville Police Sgt. Jason Cullum said.

"Gangs have identified smaller communities now as the easiest communities," Brady said. "What's happened in Evansville the past 10 years we're beginning to see happen in Henderson. We're probably three to four years behind them."

"They are going to start to see some of these same things manifest that we saw five, six, seven years ago as people started coming to Evansville to commit these crimes," Cullum added.

Brady and Cullum both agree the first step in fighting back against the gangs is acknowledging that there is a problem - one that will require everyone in the community to step up.

"We all have to be involved in this," Brady said. "I think what will set us apart from other communities is we'll get ahead of the problem rather than following the problem."
 


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