Los Angeles: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today joined Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton to announce significant gang violence reductions in 2007.
“At the beginning of last year, I announce a new approach to gangs,” said Chief Bratton. “The strategy consisted of several Gang Initiatives aimed to reducing violence and fear.” Working together with community members, our city’s political leadership, and State and Federal agencies, we have begun to turn the trend and reduce gang crime and the fear associated with it.”
In 1992, the City of Los Angeles experienced its highest number of homicides, 1,092. Of those, 430 were identified as gang related. In 2007, there were 216 gang murders. That number represents a 49.7% decrease from 1992’s gang killings. In 2006, there were 294 gang homicides investigated. In 2007, the men and women of the LAPD in cooperation with our many partners were able to reduce gang homicides by 26.5%.
“One year ago, Chief Bratton and I pledged to attack the rise in gang violence – and we did.” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “Now we must flood our neighborhoods with the critical prevention, intervention and youth development services, and get illegal guns off our streets to keep violence down for the long term.”
Overall Gang Crime
-3.8% 290 fewer
-26.5% 78 fewer
-8.4% 297 fewer
Attacks on Police Officers
-2.2% 2 fewer
-9.3% 4 fewer
+1.6% 41 more
-2.2% 4 fewer
+8.0% 2 more
Shots Fired Dwelling
-16.1% 28 fewer
+600% 6 more
+6.0% 46 more
+200% 28 more
-15.8% 465 fewer
-14.5% 225 fewer
Police Commission Vice President John W. Mack stated, “Today’s announcement of a reduction in gang-related crime is inspiring and it is proof that the Mayor’s and Department’s Gang Initiatives launched in 2007 are working. I believe we are seeing the beginning of the benefits of prevention and intervention as well as enforcement, yet we must continue the effort collectively to end the devastating effects of gangs in our community.”
The trending of reduced gang violence and crime is attributed to the collective resources of the Criminal Justice System and community, working together to address the spread of the gang influence over the Los Angeles region. The LAPD, the United States Attorney’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE), Los Angeles City Attorney, LA County District Attorney, Parole, Probation, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD), U.S. Marshals Service, and U.S. Bureau of Prisons, dedicated personnel and resources to several task forces to address gang crime.
The FBI participated in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Task Force on Violent Crime along with the LAPD, ICE, bureau of Prisons and the LA County Probation Office focusing their crime fighting strategies on problematic gangs and their leadership.
“Los Angeles street gangs have evolved into sophisticated criminal enterprises whose members operate internationally and engage in a variety of crimes to exert control over neighborhoods here and throughout the U.S.,” said, Salvador Hernandez, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI in Los Angeles. “Working collaboratively, state, local and federal agencies have recently built federal cases against large numbers of gang members plaguing these communities. The FBI remains committed to the anti-gang effort and will continue to provide resources in support.”
“My office has implemented a more comprehensive approach in attacking the most dangerous gangs in our region,” said United States Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien. “In conjunction with federal agencies and our local partners, in appropriated circumstance we are now prosecuting not only so-called shot-callers, but also other members and associates of street gangs. For example, in addition to gang leaders, recent federal prosecutions have targeted the soldiers who carry out their work and the narcotics traffickers who supply them with drugs. This approach is having an impact, as evidenced by the statistics that show gang-related violence on the decline.”
Additionally, LAPD partnered with the DEA, FBI, ATF and LASD, LA City Attorney’s Office and U.S. Attorney’s Office and created and abatement strategy for two communities in the Harbor Area affected by racially motivated crimes and the drug trade. In neighborhoods commonly referred to as 204th Street and Ghost Town, intensive investigations were launched over a period of several months targeting the leadership of these criminal organizations. These investigations culminated in the service of several search warrants, abatement of hotels, confiscation of weapons, and arrests of several gang members identified as the perpetrators.
“The United Stated Drug Enforcement Agency will continue to aggressively target and attack these criminal organizations who profit from peddling their poisons on our streets,” said Edward Follis, Special Agent in Charge, DEA.
For more detailed information and statistics contact Media Relations Section and can also be found on www.lapdonline.org, and the LAPD Blog.