LAPD, LA Councilmembers and Hollenbeck Community Unite Against Crime

February 19, 2002

"LAPD, LA Councilmembers and Hollenbeck Community Unite Against Crime"
Los Angeles: Yesterday, Los Angeles Police Department Chief of Police Bernard C. Parks joined Los Angeles City Council members, Nate Holden and Nick Pacheco, and several Hollenbeck Area community members to voice support of Hollenbeck Area police officers for their crime fighting efforts, as well as acknowledge the need for additional attention in this arena. Recognizing the importance of an active and involved community in the Department’s crime-fighting efforts, Los Angeles Police Chief Bernard C. Parks praised the Hollenbeck community for their anti-violence efforts. Chief Parks stated, "I commend you for your refusal to be apathetic to an issue of such importance, and for bringing these issues and concerns to the Department’s attention. Your involvement in this matter hits at the core of the Community-Based Policing philosophy; community working with the police to solve problems."
Recently, a number of individuals have attempted to unnecessarily instill fear in the community by painting Hollenbeck as an area inundated with and being over run by homicides. While it is true that Hollenbeck Area [for that matter, the City of Los Angeles], year-to-date, has experienced a rise in homicides when compared to each of the previous three years, it is important that these figures be put in perspective and that there be a realization that the increases we are experiencing are from historic low levels. For the last 10 years (1992 to 2001), Hollenbeck Area has averaged 54 homicides a year, with a high of 97 in the year 1992 and a low of 32 in the year 2000. From 1992 to 1996, the Hollenbeck Area averaged approximately 69 homicides a year, with a low of 41 in the year 1996.
Given the fact that in the last five years (1997 to 2001) Hollenbeck Area has averaged approximately 38 homicides a year, with a high of 41 in 1997 and 1998 and a low of 32 in the year 2000, it is clear that the 38 homicides per year average is well below the 10-year average of 54, and significantly far less than the 69 homicides per year average, experienced between 1992 and 1996.
This is not in any way meant to diminish the seriousness of this issue. Nor is it meant to detract from the Department’s vociferous commitment to making Hollenbeck, and all other areas of the City, safe and secure for those who live in and visit these areas. It is meant only to put things in perspective and bring focus to the fact that much has been accomplished over the past several years. As a result of the community’s efforts in bringing this issue to the forefront, the Department has significantly expanded the deployment of its Special Enforcement Units [gang details] in Hollenbeck Area. Additionally, a number of other Department resources (e.g., Metropolitan Division crime suppression platoons, motorcycle units, etc.) have been injected into the area to provide high visibility and to suppress crime. In addition to these tactical efforts, the Department continues to utilize a number of intervention/ prevention and education programs in an effort to reduce the level of violence. These include the Department’s Stop the Violence Campaign, Gang Resistance and Education Training Program, Youth Advocacy Program, Jeopardy Program and the Law Enforcement Magnet Schools Program, to name a few.
Chief Parks reiterated that, "As a community, as a Department, we have made significant strides over the past several years. In the City of Los Angeles, homicides in the last five years are the lowest they have been in 24 years, while Part 1 crimes in each of the last five years are the lowest they have been in over 30 years. Additionally, other than a high of 56,523 in 1997, violent crimes in each of the succeeding four years (1998 thru 2001) have been well below the 30-year average of 55,680; all this in spite of a million plus increase in the population over the past few years. Our gains notwithstanding, we recognize that our work is not yet done. To this end, we will continue to work with all segments of the community to make Hollenbeck Area; to make the City of Los Angeles a safe and more secure environment."
This press release was prepared by Lieutenant Horace Frank, Officer in Charge, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.