American Renaissance

LAPD Targets Gangs in Central, South LA

Areas Report 276 Gang-Related Shootings In 2004

KCAL 9 (L. A.), Mar. 18

A new Los Angeles Police Department task force will focus on Central and South Los Angeles, areas which recently have seen a dramatic rise in gang crime, Mayor Jim Hahn and Chief William Bratton announced Thursday.

To date this year, the Hollenbeck, Newton, 77th, Southwest and Southeast areas have reported 276 gang-related shootings — more than all other areas of the city combined, Hahn said.

“The rise in gang-related violence and crime is an unacceptable trend that is causing fear in communities and anguish for the families left reeling from the actions of brazen criminals,” he said.

The Community Safety Operations Task Force will include LAPD and parole officers, as well as agents from the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

“Even though our resources are stretched to the limit, we are committed to finding innovative ways to keep the streets safe,” Bratton said.

The 100-120-member task force will plot gang crimes to analyze trends, use community resources and build on Gang Impact Team initiatives, officials said.

Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa said his constituents in Boyle Heights, El Sereno and other parts of his district have seen 20 shootings in the past two weeks that have left eight people dead.

“Today, the LAPD has responded with a much-needed plan to crack down on drug dealers, gang members and those who are senselessly shooting and endangering our communities,” he said.