RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Richmond’s sheriff, C.T. Woody, has spent his career fighting the war against gangs. He says after decades of falling gang activity in our area, it’s reaching dangerous levels again.

Woody has been Richmond’s top deputy for 11 years. In 1968 he started his career walking the streets of Richmond fighting the worst gangs the city has ever seen.

In the 70’s, Woody helped bring down the Briley Brothers, who were responsible for killing at least 11 people in Richmond and pulled off the largest death-row escape in U.S. History.

Now Woody sees the other side of justice at the City Justice Center.

Woody said the gangs of today are growing in violence.

“I think there was a drop off but I think there is a great increase now because of the fact that gangs used to be just in the poor neighborhood, it’s no longer that,” Woody said. “Gangs are in the rich neighborhood, gangs are everywhere. I think gangs today are much more violent, but the gangs of yestrday is just the gangs of today, they will kill anybody”

He says one of the biggest differences in today’s gangs is the use of automatic weapons.

“When I was on the street they used their hands, every once and a while they would use a gun or a knife or a bat or something like that,” Woody said. “Now the kids don’t fight anymore, they shoot, they want guns.”

Woody said there may be only one way to stop the violence.

“It starts in the home, it starts right in the home,” Woody said. “You can’t let your kids run wild, you got to look at who they are hanging with.”Want more Gang Life: Virginia at War? Click here for complete coverage. Never miss another Facebook post from 8NewsFind 8News on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; send your news tips