Horry County Police Department tackles gang activity

Photo courtesy of Horry County Police

On 8/15/2014, we were notified that charges against 17 of the Hells Angels members had been dismissed. The 15th Circuit Solitior's Office says charges against 10 people are still pending. Click here for an updated story about the dismissed and pending Red Harvest charges.

Sergeant Lynn Baker was sworn into the Horry County police department last Tuesday by Chief Rhodes as the department's Gang Intelligence Analyst. This is a new position created for Baker to take on gang activity throughout the county.

Baker is a Conway native and a Coastal Carolina University graduate. She became interested in this position after working for the Horry County Sheriff's Department on gang-related operations for the past eight years.

One case was Operation Red Harvest, which brought more than one hundred charges against dozens of people connected to the Hells Angels motorcycle group.

"I had identified just through the detention center over five hundred gangs. I worked very closely with the Myrtle Beach police department, Conway police department, and I would say from the three agencies, we've identified over one thousand gang members here in Horry County," Baker said.

Baker is in the process of completing a seven-day training program for the job. Although she couldn't get too specific for confidentiality reasons, she said she pays close attention to tattooing, individuals who wear similar clothing every day, and graffiti.

"You don't learn it overnight. You don't even learn it in a year's time, because these gangs, they're constantly changing their trends. They want to fool law enforcement, so it's like you're constantly running behind them trying to understand what they're doing," Baker said.

And in the end, she said her main goal is to educate the community about gang activity before it's too late.

"I've already started taking pictures so that I can go back and show people this is what's in your community, this is what this means, things for the community to look for," Baker said.