V.I.P.E.R. Unit


 

The Viper Unit stands for Violent Incident Prevention Enforcement Response. The unit is located at a secure off-site location and conducts special investigations through surveillance and intelligence gathering techniques. The unit investigates violent crimes as well as gang activity within the Evansville area. The unit is staffed by 1 sergeant and 8 officers and works various hours and days as investigations dictate.

Phone: (812) 436-7926
Fax: (812) 435-6109

What information do I need when reporting suspicious activity?

Any information is useful, but the type of activities observed or suspected, the location and times of the activity, names, ages, and descriptions of the participants, and descriptions and license plates of any involved vehicles is particularly helpful. The reporter may leave their name for investigators to follow up or remain anonymous.

What is a Criminal Street Gang?

Indiana State Statute 35-45-9-1 defines a criminal gang as a group with at least three members that specifically: (1) either: (A) promotes, sponsors, or assists in; or (B) participates in; or (2) requires as a condition of membership or continued membership; the commission of a felony or an act that would be a felony if committed by an adult or the offense of battery (IC 35-42-2-1).

How do you report gang activity?

If you want to report suspicious behavior in reference to gang activity please call the Evansville Police Department Gang Unit:

Phone: 812-436-7926
Email: pphernetton@evansvillepolice.com

 

What are some typical pre-gang behaviors?

Gang involvement does not happen overnight. It is a gradual process and if you are alert you will see warning signs.

  • Poor progress or achievement in school
  • Truancy from school
  • Lack of hobbies or too much leisure time
  • Frequent contact with authority figures or police
  • Draws gang insignias/symbols/signs
  • Problems at home
  • Lives in neighborhood where gangs already exist
  • Friends are gang members or dressing down or sagging and bagging in gang attire
  • Begins dressing in traditional gang clothes

These items are characteristic of gang involvement. However, some people who join or associate with gangs do not dress in the traditional attire and do not exhibit conspicuous behavior to show their gang involvement. Parents must be aware of the behavior and activities of their children. Continual monitoring of behavior and positive verbal communication between parents and young people is a must for gang membership prevention.

How do I report vice offenses, such as gambling or prostitution, occurring in Evansville?

If the situation requires immediate attention, call 911. Otherwise, contact the Evansville Police Department's Vice/Intelligence Unit at (812) 436-7917 or (812) 436-7926.

Does the VIPER Unit make gang/street crimes related presentations?

The VIPER Unit will conduct presentations upon request for civic groups, businesses and schools within Vanderburgh County. The presentations cover general information and trends related to gang activity and violent crime in the Evansville area. To request a presentation, call (812) 436-7926.