fields-gangsDetective Joey Fields, lower right, with Mayor Pasquale Menna to his left and state Senator Jennifer Beck at center, addresses an audience on the topic of gangs at the Frank Talk art gallery Saturday.

Red Bank has gang members residing within its borders, and properties here have been tagged in spray paint with gang markings.

But the depth and extent of the borough’s problems with gangs are easily exaggerated, a pair of law enforcement officials suggested on Saturday, when they addressed about a dozen residents on the state of gang activity.

Nearly every community in Monmouth County, including high-income towns such as Rumson and Little Silver, has some gang presence, they said. But over recent years, crime associated with gangs has dropped in Red Bank, and authorities watch closely for signs of rebound, they said.

“Here, it used to be out of control,” said Det. Sgt. Tom Nuccio, a former borough detective who now runs the gang task force at the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office. “It wasn’t uncommon to have out-of-town help come in on a Friday night to help control the environment. As far as I know, that hasn’t happened in the past ten years.”

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hot-topic1Borough and state officials are planning a public discussion on the presence of gangs in Red Bank for this Saturday morning.

The event is being organized by 12th-district state Sen. Jennifer Beck and her Assembly colleagues, Caroline Casagrande and Declan O’Scanlon.

Det. Joey Fields of the Red Bank Police Department will be on hand to offer the department’s perspective.

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hot-topic6A report in today’s Star-Ledger says that Red Bank was among the New Jersey cities and towns that yielded up 46 suspected gang members to a federal sweep over the past two weeks.

The suspects include alleged members of violent gangs such as MS-13, Sureno 13, Gran Familia Mexicana and the Bloods, according to a press release issued by the U.S. Immigrant and Customs Enforcement.

The names of only four suspects were released, but that information was not accompanied by the locations of their arrests or residence, nor were town-by-town numbers of suspects released.

ICE spokesman Harold Ort told the Sledger that most of the arrests took place in Asbury Park, Long Branch, Red Bank, Bound Brook and Union City, the paper reported.

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