More than 33,000 gang member profiles have been added to a statewide cloud-based intelligence platform, something Hall County investigators believe will become a great tool for law enforcement.

“The main benefit is it matches across jurisdictional lines and notifies investigators that might not otherwise get together,” said Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad Lt. Don Scalia.

The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council announced Oct. 15 that the profiles were added to the Georgia Gang Intelligence Platform. The profiles include names, affiliations and identifiers such as tattoos. As a result, the council said “more than 25,000 connections have been made across investigative case files.”

The Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia received a $300,000 grant from the criminal justice council that originally came through the federal Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant. The grant allowed 20 agencies that had high rates of gang activity to join the platform along with the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Department of Corrections.

Hall County law enforcement is not currently a part of it, but Scalia said he anticipates the county will join in the future.

“Once we get involved in that system, I think it will be a huge help for us,” Scalia said.

The criminal justice council said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the attorneys’ council will continue to “identify and enlist the participation of committed local partners in both law enforcement and prosecution disciplines.”

The two main gangs that are under watch by Hall County investigators are the Gangster Disciples and the Ghost Face Gangsters.

“Those are the ones that are taking up a lot of our time right now, but then of course there are other smaller gangs that kind of come and go. Or maybe not come and go, but they become active and then seem like they go dormant for certain periods of time,” Scalia said.

By Nick Watson | Gainesville Times