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Jersey City bounty hunter discusses rising tension and threats of gang retaliation

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JERSEY CITY, N.J. (PIX11) -- "It's a danger zone. A lot of people out on the street. A lot of drug dealing going on out on the corners. A lot of activity, it's just dangerous," Al McCallen described the scene that has played out on the streets of the Greenville Section of Jersey City.

The 45-year-old knows these streets all too well. He's been a bounty hunter in the area of the city for the last 14 years.

These are streets he's usually working everyday, but this week, Al hasn't been around. "Not this week, no. Kind of sitting back a little bit and letting all this stuff calm down a little."

As someone who deals with law enforcement but also knows several people in this neighborhood, McAllen decided to take PIX11 News for a ride to share his thoughts on the tension that he doesn't see going away anytime soon.

"I believe there is a potential for more violence in the next, could be the next week, it's still tense, it takes a couple of weeks before it really dies down again."

While McCallen says he has experienced tension before, it's never reached this level. "A lot of times like down in these areas the cops roll up on people, normally they would scatter or just mind their own business or whatever, but now they are approaching police cars in a threatening manner which is worst than it's been."

Added to the mix are credible threats of retaliation against cops as a result of last month's officer-involved shooting death of 20-year-old Levon King. "They're saying they'll go after EMTs because that will draw the police in or saying that they are going to specifically go after police who are out doing the Pulaski Skyway detail because they are by themselves. It's never been a pinpoint thing like that."

PIX11 News examined some of the specific threats first-hand after we obtained an internal memo on Tuesday. It is a memo that McAllen says comprises the true focus of what a police officer is supposed to do while on the streets.

"They're on high alert and they are being careful and paying attention and protecting themselves because they are out here to protect the people of the city too, not just themselves."