August 10, 2007

Los Angeles: North Hollywood Area in partnership with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Unified School District Police, Burbank Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, California Department of Corrections and Los Angeles County Probation focused on gangs and tagging crews linked to criminal activity in the North Hollywood and Sun Valley communities.

On August 24, 2007, around 6:00 a.m., the North Hollywood Area Multi-Agency Task Force launched Operation Heat Wave, a joint effort to target gang members involved in criminal activity and/or are on active parole or probation. One primary goal of the task force is to immediately impact the incidents of crime in the community, while acting as a future deterrence.

The North Hollywood Area Multi-Agency Task Force comprised of more than 100 law enforcement officials from the various agencies served multiple Probation and Parole Compliance Checks, Arrest and Warrant Searches at approximately 58 locations. Those gangs and tagging crews that were targeted include Vineland Boys, 18th Street, North Hollywood Locos, North Hollywood Boys and Clanton (C-14). One of the gangs, 18th Street, is listed as one of the Department’s Top Targeted Gangs.

This massive effort will be under way through the evening. Preliminary results are 12 arrests (4 whom are juveniles), recovery of; three firearms, two machetes, narcotics including methamphetamine and marijuana, several shaved keys believed to be used to steal cars and a wealth of intelligence of recent gang related criminal activity.

Dividends of this and similar task forces, including patrol and detective functions are beginning to be realized with gang related crime having decreased in North Hollywood Area by 54.5% over the past 4-week period. Overall, year to date gang crime in North Hollywood is up 24%.

As of July 30th, gang crime in the Valley is up 5.9%, a total of 47 additional crimes. While gang homicides are down 4.3%, 22 through July 30th compared to 23 during the same time period last year, some of the increase in gang crime can be attributed to more assaults against police officers. This time last year, there had been 7; so far this year there have been 22, an increase of over 200%.

Overall the Valley is a safer place today than it was one year ago. Through August 18, 2007 crime is down 1.7%. That includes a 24% reduction in homicides, 42 vs. 55.

The credit has to go to the men and women of the LAPD who are on the front lines and our other law enforcement partners. Because gang crime accounts for 22% of all crime in the Valley, we intend to keep the heat on the gangs.

This news release was prepared by Lieutenant Ruben De La Torre, Officer In Charge of Media Relations Section, at 213-485-3586.