Navigate Up
Sign In Section Home Port Home Contact Us

Gang Unit​

PURGE:  Port Unified Resources in Gang Enforcement


Airports and seaports are no exception to the impact of gangs.  Whether using ports for transportation, employment, or an area for their illegal activities, gangs pose a significant enforcement challenge to airport and seaport law enforcement agencies, including the Port of Seattle Police Department.

Due to the unique diversity of the POPSD’s jurisdiction, PURGE’s mission is to seek-out suspected gang activity within the traveling public, employees and citizens of the port. PURGE is a patrol-based gang unit consisting of two supervising sergeants, two detectives, 10 officers. This is a collateral duty assignment for these officers, structured much like many SWAT teams. Selection to PURGE includes a full testing and assessment process. Gang enforcement officers may find themselves in higher risk situations based upon the type of individuals they proactively attempt to detect and interact with. Port gang officers need to be knowledgeable of national and global trends as opposed to having only regional gang knowledge. All PURGE members receive specialized training in gang identification and tactics.

The Port of Seattle Police Gang Unit is charged with aggressively and proactively protecting the gateway to the Pacific Northwest by detecting organized crime and gang elements that may operate in, around, and travel through the Port of Seattle. Through education, enforcement, law enforcement partnerships, and community involvement, the Gang Unit will continually attempt to suppress these elements. The members of the Port of Seattle Police Department Gang Unit are committed to directly contributing to a safe environment for our citizens, the economic stability of our stakeholders, and to the security the Port of Seattle to maintain it’s role as a major component of the regional infrastructure.

The Port of Seattle Police Gang Unit accomplishes its mission by incorporating the department’s core values of Leadership, Integrity, and Accountability in every function of their operations.  Members of the Gang Unit treat every citizen with respect and professionalism, while incorporating a firm, fair, consistent and ethical enforcement philosophy.

Unified Resources

The name of our unit represents our goal in striving to be a resource for all law enforcement agencies, not only within King County, but throughout the State of Washington and the United States. “Unified Resources” also represents our efforts to build alliances with our community members, stakeholders, and other airport and seaport law enforcement agencies.
To gain a better understanding of the threat that gangs pose to public safety and homeland security and why they are a concern to the Port of Seattle Police, visit the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Gang Threat Assessments website. 

community engagement 

GangUnit.jpgEducation is a major component of gang prevention. Many employers, parents and educators are unaware of the possible signs of youth gang involvement.  If you have questions about what to look for, the U.S. Department of Justice, in cooperation with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), and the Community Oriented Police Service (COPS) have prepared  quick reference guide about the warning signs of gang involvement and tips for prevention. Visit USDJ for more information.

Are you a victim of graffiti?  Graffiti can have a negative impact on residents’ feeling of security, business operations, and the images of your community.  As the gateway to the Pacific Northwest, graffiti is a concern of the Port of Seattle Police. Visit U.S. DOJ’s Community Oriented Police Service graffiti webpage for tips and techniques on combating graffiti and gang vandalism. To report graffiti on any Port of Seattle property contact us, or call 206-787-5801 (non-emergency).

The Port of Seattle Police Department holds Citizen’s Academies. During this multi-week program, citizens gain a better understanding of the units that comprise the Port Police. The Gang Unit is a proud participant of the Citizen’s Academy, highlighting efforts within the community, history of gangs in the US and throughout pop-culture, and gang prevention techniques. Visit the Port of Seattle Police Citizen’s Academy for more information.