Los Angeles: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined Los Angeles Police Department Chief William Bratton during a police roll call at the Mission Community Police Station to announce the LAPD’s 2007 crime reduction goals which includes identifying specific gangs for targeted enforcement.
"We are taking a new approach to gangs this year," Chief Bratton said. "Eleven gangs and their 800 members committed over 1,700 violent crimes last year. That’s 6 percent of all the violent crimes in the city. It makes sense to focus our very limited resources on these criminals.
The Chief and members of his staff have laid out a detailed plan to address rising gang crime. While crime overall has dropped for five consecutive years, the LAPD noted gang crime has increased steadily. Over 15 percent increase of the crime was attributed to gangs in 2006 than in 2005. Police have also noticed a trend by some gangs to target victims based on the their race, and a troubling increase in gunfire assaults aimed at police officers.
As part of the initiative, Chief Bratton has brokered the support of several local, state, and federal authorities, all of which recognize the need to reduce gang influence in the greater Los Angeles region. Those agencies include the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, District Attorney’s Office and Probation Department; the FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms; the DEA; the US Attorney’s Office; Immigration and Customs Enforcement; California State Parole, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, the Los Angeles School Police; and most of the county’s municipal police departments.
Mayor Villaraigosa has committed to formulating a comprehensive city plan to address gang prevention and intervention.
The LAPD’s strategy consists of eleven initiatives, the most prominent creating a list of the "Top Targeted Gangs" and the "Ten Most Wanted Gang Members" in Los Angeles.
Some of the other initiatives are: consolidating the investigation of gang homicides and assaults in South Los Angeles under a single investigative command; forming a task force against gangs in the San Fernando Valley, where gang crime spiked 43-percent last year; abating the 204th Street gang in the Harbor-Gateway; sponsoring gang-abatement legislation; pursuing more gang injunctions; and educating the community on gangs through special seminars and symposiums.
Last year, gangs committed over 5 percent (nearly 7,000) of the major crimes in Los Angeles. Fifty-eight percent of the murders were gang related, as were over one-quarter of the assaults and nearly one-fifth of the robberies.
A media handout is available from Media Relations Section. It provides specific details on the respective initiatives.