Police in Dubuque have arrested 86 alleged gang members in the past few months. Police Corporal Steve Eastvedt  say gang members are more prevalent in the city than one might think. He says officers do look for clothes or tattoos that are consistent with certain gangs, but adds gang members are labeled as such because of the laws they break.

“A person could be heavily involved in criminal activity or gang activity and not look the part. So there are some things to look for, but you have to be careful not to pre-judge,” Eastvedt said. Investigators also use information from other police departments that’s posted on a gang member database. Eastvedt is hoping the recent arrests will serve as a warning for criminals in Dubuque.

“If somebody is going to be involved in crime in our community, it sends a message to them that we do seek to address those issues and hold them accountable,” Eastvedt said. Most of the alleged gang members arrested in Dubuque had warrants out for multiple crimes.

By Katie Wiedemann, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids