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Thanks to Gary Klivans for his insite to,

Gangs Are Threatening My Retirement.

Gangs are threatening my retirement, but not in the way you might think.  It turns out that after my retirement from the County of Westchester and the US Army Reserve, law enforcement agencies around the country want me to come and present my lecture on deciphering gang codes.  I’m getting so many requests to lecture, that I may not be able to say “I’m retired” anymore.

 I currently do presentations all over the country at conferences and training events, for the Multijurisdictional Counterdrug Task ForceTraining (MCTFT) program, which is a federally funded partnership between the Florida National Guard and St. Petersburg College in Florida.  I also lecture for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program.  I have published more than a dozen gang code articles in “American Jails Magazine”, “Sheriff Magazine” and “Deputy and Court Officer Magazine”.  I am a guest columnist on and .  I have a book, “Gang Secret Codes: Deciphered” published by , Santa Ana, CA.

Gary's Book Cover

 I have a half-day and a full-day program entitled “Gangs: Secret Codes, Signs & Symbols” where I explain to law enforcement officers how I decipher gang codes.  Let me show you some examples of how I have deciphered gang codes:

 I received a seven (7) page document that was confiscated in a correctional facility.  Sample pages are shown in (Illustrations #1 – #3).

 Page one

Page two




Gang Codes

As I examined the document, I noticed a pattern.  (Illustration #4) is a close-up of the first paragraph of (Illustration #1).  Look at it carefully and pay particular attention to the letter arrangement.

Gary 45


Gary 6

Gang Codes

The first fifteen (15) lines of (Illustration #1) are deciphered and shown in
(Illustration #7). 

“BAM” refers to “Bosses About Money” and where the writer states that if you want out that’s in a bag, he is referring to a body bag.

The solution to deciphering this pattern is to take the first letter of every three-letter group and every individual letter.  The individual letters are “A, E, I, O, U”.  The “#” indicates the end of a word. 

That is one example of a code that is dependent upon a pattern.  You don’t need to know a lot about the gang e.g. identifiers, history, leaders, etc. to decipher the code. 

In this next example, I advise readers not to compare apples and oranges.  Look at the two paragraphs in (Illustration #1) and search for symbol groups with similar symbols.

Gary isltl1

Gary istrl2

  Gary 3

 Now we can use our “double-check” word (Illustration #5) which we know uses some symbols we just identified as “O”, “A” and “T” as shown in (Illustration #3).  Note that the unidentified symbols repeat within this word.  What word has the letters “O”, “A” and “T” with two sets of repeating letters?


The word is “LOYALTY”.  We have now added the letters “L” and “Y”.  By using these letters to decipher more of the document, we can add additional letters and come up with the symbol template shown in (Illustration #6).

gary col

 The first paragraph is translated and transcribed in (Illustration #7).

idea for a magazine article, and I add the new code to my presentation and…well you can see the pattern and the reason that gangs are threatening my retirement!

GS KLIVANS is a gang consultant and lecturer.  He retired with the rank of Captain from the Westchester County (NY) Department of Correction (Peace Officer).  Captain KLIVANS is a former District Attorney Investigator (Police Officer).  He served in the US Army Reserve for 30 years in Military Intelligence and CID (Federal Agent).

He is the author of the book “Gang Secret Codes: Deciphered”, available through Police and Fire Publishing, Santa Ana, CA

He can be contacted at:


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