PONTOTOC, Miss. (WTVA) -- Is it cool to be a gangster?
Your children may think so.
There's no question the gangster life has hit the main stream, but law enforcement say that could be one fad that has dangerous consequences.
Captain Mark Baldwin knows where to find the graffiti in Pontotoc.
Some he calls child's play. Other symbols he believes to be the real thing.
"We've got graffiti on signs. We've got graffiti on water towers. It's here," Captain Baldwin said.
That's one reason why Tupelo Police Department's Major Anthony Hill is keynote speaker for a gang summit.
Major Hill says he's not trying to scare people into thinking there's some type of gang problem in north Mississippi, but he says gang activity does exist. You have to look for the signs.
Those signs go beyond graffiti and can be found in just about any town.
"It was very surprising. I learned a lot from it and a big eye-opener is what it was," Bruce resident Ruthie Willis said.
"It never hurts to be aware of what's going on around you and being mindful of your surroundings and that's the whole goal of this presentation," Major Hill said.
Major Hill says the gangster lifestyle fad is a bad fad to follow on any level.
The key is to ask questions about what they are listening to or watching.
While Major Hill does not believe there is a gang problem in Pontotoc or surrounding towns, veteran educator and Millcreek Children's Center Director Sandi George believes the problem is worsening in Lowndes and Oktibbeha Counties.
She works in Starkville with children who suffer from psychiatric problems.
"Well, I am concerned that it's getting worse. I have teenage grandchildren and I'm concerned about what they are exposed to at school and what they have to deal with," George said.
"It can get very serious because there are people out there who want to get into your children's lives and we need to be that force that stops it," Major Hill added.
Report any type of suspected gang activity to your local law enforcement.