In response to a rise in gang related homicides and assaults in Cathedral City since 2019, the gang unit was re-instated and went into service on May 5, 2021, according to Police Chief George Crum

CATHEDRAL CITY — This community has consistently been plagued with the criminality of street gangs, according to Police Chief George Crum. The primary gangs originating in Cathedral City have been documented for their violence by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.

Many of the crimes committed by gangs include murder, attempted murder, sexual assault, home invasion robberies, carjacking, assaults with deadly weapons, witness intimidation, burglary, auto theft, possession of firearms and possession of controlled substance for sales, and more.

In response to a rise in gang related homicides and assaults in Cathedral City since 2019, the gang unit was re-instated and went into service on May 5, 2021. This newly formed gang unit consists of a sergeant and two detectives. The goal will be to add two additional detectives to this unit during FY 21-22. This team will primarily focus on gang enforcement and will also be a force multiplier during our busier shifts which tend to be in the evenings on weekends. The mission of the gang unit will be:

  • Prevention and Intervention
  • Investigation and Apprehension
  • Documentation and Follow-up
  • Safety and Security

Chief Crum is scheduled to present this information at the City Council’s Study Session on Wednesday, June 9. This item is presented for information, discussion and direction only.

In the early 80’s there were three established gangs in the city. In the 90s there were two predominant gangs in the city. Several splinter groups appeared in the 90’s and early 2000s, but those splinter groups usually fell back into the two primary gangs.

Throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s, Cathedral City’s main gangs were severely weakened by both proactive law enforcement and long prison sentences. Membership is consistently being replenished by members as young as 10-11 years in age.

Cathedral City is now facing a rise in the cycle of violence due to new membership in our oldest and most established criminal street gang, according to Crum. Most members live in Cathedral City, but many live-in neighboring municipalities. Many gang members are between 11-17 years in age. An 18-year-old in these gangs may already be considered a veteran.

Young gang members are committing the most violent gang-related crimes due to the juvenile justice system being lenient on youthful offenders. The current climate of state laws for prosecution and incarceration of youthful offenders are major contributing factors that account for the significant rise of gang-related criminal acts.

Cathedral City gang members have alliances and rivals throughout the Coachella Valley. Some of those rivalries have caused murders, drive-by shootings, assaults, and other crimes within the city. Crum states in his staff report.

Cathedral City has two predominate Gangs, according to Crum. Barrio Cathedral City (BCC) and Barrio Dream Homes (BDH). But they are not the only documented gang members in the city. BDH has strong ties to the gang in Palm Springs, Gateway Posse Crips (GWPC) and Barrio San Rafael (BSR). BSR and GWPC are currently at war with each other and BDH members are now being more supportive of BSR due to family and friendship ties.

Barrio Cathedral City has fewer ties in the west valley but have strong support with the Indio Gangs of Varrio Mecca Vineyards (VMV) and Varrio Jackson Terrace (VJT). Gang members from Desert Hot Springs’ Gangs, Browns Town Locos (BTL) and West Driver (WD) also have some of their members living in the city.


Image Sources

  • Gang member: Pixabay