ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Is Gang Activity on the Rise in Nampa Idaho?

Updated on May 28, 2015

An Interesting Morning

I received a surprise this morning when I was taking out my garbage. As I dumped plastic bags into our container, I looked to the right and saw a large, gang-like tag on a public building next to Nampa City Hall.

This mural fell onto the backdrop of a much larger discussion that has taken place in our area.

As Nampa Police Chief Craig Kingsbury wrote on March 29, "During the past several weeks, local media have reported some tragic homicides, a string of armed robberies and even a shooting involving a Canyon County sheriff’s deputy. This type of news shocks the conscience of most Treasure Valley residents."

Thus, when I saw the graffiti, I couldn't help but ask myself a question that is been buzzing in coffee shops, churches, businesses and wherever people meet. Are crime and gang-activity on the rise in Nampa and the rest of Canyon County?

What is a Gang?

According to the Canyon County Prosecutor's Office, a gang is:

A group of people who form an alliance for a common purpose and engage in violent or criminal activity. Defined in the Idaho Code §18-8502: “Criminal Gang” means an ongoing organization, association, or group of three (3) or more persons, whether formal or informal, that has a common name or common identifying sign or symbol, whose members individually or collectively engage in or have engaged in a pattern of criminal gang activity.

The Controversy

A March 16 Idaho Press Tribune article called Last week’s homicide echoes Nampa’s past says:

The unsolved homicide of Jose Cruz Corona in Nampa on March 8 has echoes of Nampa’s gang-plagued past, Nampa police sergeant and former gang unit officer Jason Kimball said.

When he began with the Nampa Police Department nine years ago, Kimball recalled, its criminal element was far bolder than it is today. It wasn’t uncommon for gang members — fully dressed down in colors — to walk down the middle of public streets, refusing to move aside even for patrol cars.

Nampa Police Chief: No Increase in Crime

So was my morning surprise indicative of a larger trend -- a downward spiral of brazen gang activity that has returned? Are recent reductions in police resources to blame?

In his column, Gang-related crime isn’t increasing in Nampa, Kingsbury goes on to offer an answer: "However, incidents such as these are not the result of Nampa’s police budget cuts. These events occurred because of the choices that the offenders made."

He cites several official police statistics to prove his point.

Nampa Police: Today's Tag "does not appear to be gang graffiti"

The graffiti is on the public building facing 4th Street and says “Vandal” and “Tax this.” Officers responded to the call of vandalism this morning said Sgt. Joe Ramirez.

“It doesn’t appear to be gang graffiti,” Ramirez said. “More of a political statement.”

While the tag was painted on a public building, that doesn’t particularly surprise Nampa officers. It’s actually painted over covered-up graffiti, Ramirez said.

“The area that it’s on is on the backside of the building so it’s less traveled,” he said.

According to Idaho Code, a charge of misdemeanor vandalism could result in a sentence of a year in jail plus a $1,000 fine.

Det. Tom Gerdes, Nampa Police Crime Prevention Coordinator Phone: (208) 468-5617
Det. Tom Gerdes, Nampa Police Crime Prevention Coordinator Phone: (208) 468-5617 | Source

Community Watch

It was comforting to know that the graffiti appears to be the work of random criminals. And the conclusion that gang activity and crime are not on the rise is one that I can live with for now.

If you have information on a crime or witnessed a crime, call Crime Stoppers, you may earn a reward up to $1,000 for information solving a major crime.

Fight Back! Be a Crime Stopper, call:
(208) 343-COPS (208-343-2677)

For more information log on to:
Crime Stoppers of Southwest Idaho

You may also contact Nampa Police Department directly.

Emergency: 911
Non Emergency: (208) 465-2257
Administration: (208) 468-5661
Animal Control: (208) 465-2257
Persons Crimes: (208) 475-5724
Property Crimes: (208) 468-5680
Records: (208) 468-5678

Regardless of any disagreements about crime rates, it is always true that an active community watch and efforts of concerned citizens reduce crime levels and help keep them down.

Are you ready to do your part?


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)