Detective 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.”