Los Angeles: Earlier today, Chief Bratton addressed some of the positive changes made in the Skid Row area of Downtown as a direct result of the Safer Cities Initiatives.
On September 17th 2006, LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilmembers Jan Perry and Jose Huizar backed the Safer Cities Initiative. 50 additional officers were added to patrol Central area and in particular a five block area of Skid Row. The Safer City Initiative in an unprecedented partnership between the Mayor’s office, the LAPD, City Attorney, LA County District Attorney, City Council and non-governmental entities.
As of May 22, 2007, in the eight months since the Safer Cities kick-off, part 1 crime in the Skid Row area has gone down 35%. During the same eight-month period preceding the Safer City Initiative crime dropped only 5%.
Homicides, rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries, auto thefts and other types of crimes are all down. Since January 1, 2007, there have been no homicides in Central Area, compared to one the same period last year.
For the first eight months of 2006, there had been 183 reported robbery victims in Skid Row. As of June 2, 2007, there were 70 robbery victims. This is 113 fewer robbery victims, resulting in a 61% decrease. By June 2nd of 2006, there had been 155 aggravated assaults, compared to 119 this year. The decrease of 23% resulted in 36 fewer victims.
The Safer Cities Initiative has also produced a high number of arrests and drug seizures. The Narcotics Buy Team and Field Enforcement Section have worked very hard in taking career criminals off the street and making it difficult for drug dealers to prosper.
From September 1, 2006 to June 1, 2007, they have made over 2,000 arrests. 532 of the suspects were on active parole; 516 arrestees were on probation.
Over 33 pounds of cocaine, 7 pounds of heroin, 200 pounds of marijuana and over $315,000 was also recovered. In addition, 2 shotguns and 5 handguns, all of which were recovered from the hands of career criminals.
As of June 1, 2007, the uniformed component of the Safer Cities Initiative, comprised of the Safer Cities Task Force, Eastside Detail and officers assigned to the Metropolitan Division Mounted Unit, have made:
• 1,800 felony arrests.
• 1,300 misdemeanor arrests.
• Performed 8,000 warrant checks.
• Impounded 208 vehicles.
• Issued more than 8,000 citations.
• Responded to 424 calls for service.
During the news conference, Chief Bratton also addressed the disturbing trend of assaults on LAPD officers. During the first five months of 2007, there were 27 assaults on police officers involving a firearm, compared to 16 for the same period last year. This represents a 59% increase.
Police Officer Andy Taylor, of Rampart Area, was assaulted on January 22, 2007, and during the news conference, was presented with the badge that saved his life.