The Mesa Police Department Gang Unit is comprised of a Police Investigator and three gang squads. The Detectives are responsible for monitoring gang activity in each of their respective districts in the City of Mesa. They investigate gang motivated and gang related crimes and liaise with other police agencies to track gang offenders' activities. The City of Mesa also has a Youth Intervention Specialist who participates in some proactive intervention strategies.
The City of Mesa Street Maintenance Unit offers to paint over graffiti on public property, which is a valuable service to citizens to help eradicate graffiti in neighborhoods. The graffiti hotline is available for people who would like to report graffiti in their neighborhoods to be painted over.
Gangs exist in urban areas, and more recently in rural areas as well. Gangs often form along ethnic and racial lines, although there is an increasing trend of youth joining gangs for economic motives. Violence is inherent in gang activity, which leads to innocent bystanders being killed or injured. Per the Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 13-105.8, a criminal street gang is an ongoing formal or information association of persons in which members or associates individually or collectively engage in the commission, attempted commission, facilitation or solicitation of any felony act and that has at least one individual who is a criminal street gang member. However, a simpler definition is that a gang is a group of people who form an allegiance for a common purpose and engage in violent and criminal activity.