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News Release

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Media Relations

LAPD Leads Multi-Agency Truancy Task Force in South Los Angeles

Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department, in conjunction with twelve local law enforcement and school agencies, today conducted a multi-jurisdictional task force in South Los Angeles aimed at ensuring that children of school age attend classes as required by law.

The task force was formed to combat truancy and the crimes often committed by children who should be in school: vandalism, theft, burglary and robbery. The city is divided among numerous police jurisdictions and school districts, but juveniles committing crimes often reside in areas other than those in which the crimes occur. Moreover, some juveniles have been out of school for extended periods, while others violate the conditions of their parole or probation by not attending school. In creating a joint-agency operation, the goal was to reduce crime by getting at-risk students throughout South Los Angeles back in school.

Partnering with the City Attorney's office, the Probation Department, the Department of Children and Family Services, and the Department of Mental Health, the operation also sought to address the underlying social issues that contribute to truancy.

A Command Post was established at the Mount Carmel Park Gymnasium, 830 West 70th Street,in the LAPD's 77th Area. Operations were conducted between 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. When Task Force officers or deputies located suspected truants, the students were required to provide positive identification. Officers then checked to see if the students were on parole or probation. Those whose identities could be verified, and who were determined to not be on parole or probation, were cited and returned by police to their schools. All others were taken to the Command Post, where their assigned school, parole or probation officer, and parents were notified.

Truants were cited under Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 45.04 or Los Angeles County Section 13.57.00, and were transported by the arresting officer/deputy. Truants' school of attendance was verified and contacted by Pupil Services Advisors (counselors). Students with special needs and the very young were processed first.

In total, 449 children were cited for truancy. Included in the 449 were 4 students arrested for probation violations, 6 arrests for outstanding felony warrants, and 2 students who were arrested when officers happened upon a burglary in progress.

The following law enforcement agencies and school districts participated in Task Force operations:

Los Angeles Police Department
Los Angeles County Sheriffs' Department
Los Angeles County Probation Department
Los Angeles County Police
Transit Services Bureau
City Attorney's Office
Department of Children and Family Services
Los Angeles County Mental Health Department
Los Angeles School Police
Los Angeles Unified School District
Compton Unified School Police
Compton Unified School District
Inglewood Unified School District

Questions may be directed to Media Relations Section.