"Guess I've been a bit sheltered here but had no idea there were gangs in Toledo ..."
INeedCoffee, you made a similar comment in May 2009:
"Never knew there was gang activity in Toledo."
Blasts from the past ... Looking through these posts, I see that the North, South, East, and West Toledo areas are mentioned, but that does not imply it's a widespread problem.
December 2003 thread Parental training for problem teens
In the Toledo area, parents of strong-willed or out-of-control adolescent children can get special training to manage teen behavior problems on the home front. Called the Parent Project, the training program teaches concrete identification, prevention, and intervention strategies to deal with some of the most destructive adolescent behaviors, such as poor school attendance and performance, alcohol and other drug use, gangs, runaways, and violence. Some courts mandate that parents and teens take Parent Project classes.
From Toledo Mayor Jack Ford's February 2004 State of the City speech
We increased the number of officers assigned to drug enforcement by adding a Bike Unit to patrol in high crime areas, especially those known for gang and drug activity. This year, I am directing Chief Navarre to devote even more resources to anti-drug activities. Much of the violent crime in Toledo is driven by drugs. The stench of drug dealing hangs over dog fighting, prostitution, arson, domestic violence, and, of course, murder.
From Mayor Ford's January 2005 State of the City speech
For a city to be livable our citizens must be safe. Our nationally accredited police and fire departments, led by Chief Mike Navarre and Chief Michael Bell, do just that. Crime continues to remain low in Toledo. We continue our fight against drugs by utilizing our highly effective Bike Unit. They patrol high crime areas, especially those known for gang and drug activity.
July 2005 thread about an alleged new North Toledo gang called the Dexter Boyz.
An August 2005 comment in the above thread points to a Toledo Free Press story about a North Toledo resident named Szych who had problems in his neighborhood. The Szych name should be familiar.
Post at ToledoNewsNow.com from the fall of 2005 ahead of the North Toledo Riot.
The National Socialist Movement out of Roanoke, VA released information this week expressing concerns about gang
activity on Bronson Street in North Toledo.
The release gave this information, it said, "uniformed members of the National Socialist Movement will march through a gang ridden North Toledo neighborhood October 15th.
Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre said in a news conference addressing the release that they are well aware of the gang problem in Toledo. He also described the complaints of gang activity in the Bronson Street area as "exaggerated."
Residents in that area have mixed opinions on whether gang activity exists there. Some, like Rosa Garcia, will tell you they do not have a problem with gangs, but it depends who you talk to about it. "It's all 'Bloods' mainly. That's what the Northside is. It's Bloods," said Ezra White. He said there are gangs all over Toledo, but he said the 'Bloods' rule the area of North Toledo, including Bronson.
It also depends on how you define a gang. "There may be four or five guys together, but nothing like a gang," said Carl Ervin, who owns a rental home on Bronson. He said it's been broken into four times in the last few months, but he believes it's probably young kids. He doesn't think it's part of an organized crime group.
Another Bronson area resident, who just wanted to be referred to as 'Linda' said some groups are known as gangs because they live on the same street, walk together and talk the same. According to her "they won't hurt a fly."
At the same time, there are residents along Bronson who say gangs are a serious problem. One woman, who didn't identify herself said "I can't talk. I could be the next target."
June 2006 post that points to a Toledo Blade story:
A proposed ordinance to make parents keep their children out of criminal activity or face jail time themselves stalled yesterday in a Toledo City Council committee over questions of how it would be enforced.
Toledo Police Chief Jack Smith said, "We've got so many kids involved in criminal activity we need to put more pressure on the ones who are responsible [for the children]."
But the ordinance faced skepticism from some council members during the public safety, law, and criminal justice committee hearing.
Under the proposed law, a parent or guardian would receive a letter - called a "gang youth crime alert notification" - informing them their child has been associating with people engaging in criminal activity.
Parents who "knowingly" allow their children to associate with criminals or engage in criminal activity after getting the notification would face a fourth-degree misdemeanor, with the potential for up to 30 days in jail.
An 18-year-old high school student, Tyree Page, endorsed the proposed law. He said he was attacked and beaten recently by gang members in the Lagrange area.
"Where are the parents? You do have a lot of parents in the urban area that don't care," Mr. Page said.
Chief Smith said the law would give police and courts the ability to force parents who are not monitoring their children to get professional help.
June 2006 post Gang Problem? Or is it a youth crime problem? - Excerpts from multiple sources that were listed in that post:
Finkbeiner, a former two-term mayor who took office again in January , announced in December  he wanted to replace Navarre in part because of the way Navarre handled a riot that erupted the day of a planned march by neo-Nazis. Finkbeiner said Navarre had not recognized the increasing number of gang
members in the city.
[Toledo Police Chief Jack] Smith said Toledo has a youth crime problem and not a gang problem. Smith said the youth crimes are not being committed by organized gangs.
Smith says Carty was upset over a police study on how the gang issues should be handled.
... the chief's report and level of engagement in the mayor's campaign promise to do battle with street gangs was not to the mayor's satisfaction.
A former gang member turned Toledo youth leader says he's very concerned about the [gang] issue and wrote this manual to help the effort. Disagreements about how to tackle Toledo's gang problem sparked the fight between the mayor and chief [S]mith.
Lavaughn Toney is thinking about leaving Toledo after witnessing a vicious gang in her west Toledo neighborhood. Religious leader Stephen Ward says gang activity is on the rise in several Toledo neighborhoods.
Mayor Carty Finkbeiner has made the city's gang problem a top priority but a heated disagreement about how to fight gangs lead to the resignation of Chief Jack Smith. Smith's latest gang unit report was not in line with the mayor's views.
To get a copy of Ward's manual, call 419 377-3392. It details gang dress, symbols, and graffiti, why kids get involved with gangs, and how to get out of a gang.
July 2008 thread Toledo's Gang 'Crackdown'
July 2008 comment in the above thread that pointed to a WNWO story titled Is Toledo headed for gang-war? :
Three murders in the just a few days in Toledo have caused concern for Mayor Carty Finkbeiner and Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre. The officials are fearing a gang-war
Toledo Police say they will crack down on gangs, but some East Toledo residents don't believe that will be enough.
May 2009 thread Gang Signs In South Toledo
Another May 2009 thread that points to a WTVG story:
We tried to ask the mayor questions about the safety of citizens and he didn't want to hear it. The mayor got angry with one of our reporters after she asked him to respond to citizens blaming the city for recent violent crimes.
"The mayor, man, I feel like he says everything is alright, but he's not living where we're living," says a former gang member. He says he's scared. "The youngest kids got guns around here and it's going to get worse, like I said. There ain't going to be those many cops to patrol."
We walked down alleys and the former gang member pointed out some messages from one gang to another. "My whole alley is tagged up with gang related stuff and it's all war stuff." He's glad the gang task force wasn't dismantled.
June 2009 thread Elderly couple violently burglarized in North Toledo that points to a WTOL story :
The Jaworskis have lived in this house for 59 years. They're saddened to see their neighborhood deteriorate.
And folks like the Jaworskis [feel] helpless as thugs and gangs take over this once proud Polish part of town.
April 2010 incident that I'm unsure was gang-related. These three posts were created on April 23, 2010:
April 2012 thread Toledo Violence Reduction Effort that points to a Blade story titled Violence across city must end, gangs told
Dozens of gang
members heard the message over and over on Friday: The violence in Toledo will stop.
Some rolled their eyes when job training and access to education were offered.
A few put their heads in their hands as Toledo police officers showed mug shots of south-side gang members — the Cholos and Locs — who are serving time in state and federal prisons.
The initiative is intended to reduce gang-related shootings and homicides, which increased drastically in the past year.