NEW ATTACK ON GANG CRIME LEADERS VOW TO FIGHT `ENEMY'.Byline: RACHEL URANGA and TROY ANDERSON Staff Writers
Even as they boasted about an overall drop in crime, top Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. officials declared Tuesday that they will step up efforts against a surge in gang violence in the San Fernando Valley San Fernando Valley
Valley, southern California, U.S. Northwest of central Los Angeles, the valley is bounded by the San Gabriel, Santa Susana, and Santa Monica mountains and the Simi Hills. and other parts of the city.
Specific details of the anti-gang effort were not released, but Police Chief William Bratton and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Antonio Ramon Villaraigosa (born Antonio (Tony) Ramon Villar, Jr. on January 23, 1953) is the mayor of Los Angeles, California. He is the first Latino mayor of Los Angeles since Cristobal Aguilar in 1872. said it will target pockets where gang crime has bucked the overall trend and violence has escalated.
``Our new year's resolution A New Year's Resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to a project or a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous. The name comes from the fact that these commitments normally go into effect on New Year's Day and remain until the set is to make violent street gangs public enemy No. 1,'' Villaraigosa said.
In the Valley, for instance, gang-related homicides surged 30 percent last year, to 48, and much of the violence was blamed on warfare between black and Latino gangs.
``As crime continues to drop overall, we continue to see a glaring exception to that trend: gang crime,'' he said. ``Street gangs are becoming more violent specifically in the East Valley, the Eastside and the South L.A. neighborhoods they terrorize ter·ror·ize
tr.v. ter·ror·ized, ter·ror·iz·ing, ter·ror·iz·es
1. To fill or overpower with terror; terrify.
2. To coerce by intimidation or fear. See Synonyms at frighten. .''
Villaraigosa called Los Angeles the second-safest big city in the country after New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of and touted five years of falling crime rates across the city. He attributed the trend to Bratton, whose policing efforts target high-crime hot spots hot spots
acute moist dermatitis. and who is up for a second term this year.
Still, 2006 saw a 14 percent rise in gang-related crimes in Los Angeles, with more than half of all killings gang-related, in which either the victim or suspect was a gang member.
Drugs and entrenched en·trench also in·trench
v. en·trenched, en·trench·ing, en·trench·es
1. To provide with a trench, especially for the purpose of fortifying or defending.
2. gang culture continue to be at the core of crime in Los Angeles Crime in Los Angeles has been a major problem in Southern California and concern for Angeleno residents since the early 20th Century. Crime has steadily decreased since the 1990's but since 2006, crime has increased. .
Though details of the anti-gang initiative have yet to be unveiled, Villaraigosa said that in the coming weeks he will meet with U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales For the New York Yankees infielder, see .
Alberto Gonzales (born August 4 1955) is an American jurist who served as the 80th Attorney General of the United States. Gonzales was appointed to the post in February 2005 by President George W. Bush. , members of the Legislature in Sacramento and with other federal officials to come up with a plan to toughen gang prosecutions and bring more resources to the anemic police force.
One thought, Bratton said, includes prosecuting specific gangs involved in interracial in·ter·ra·cial
Relating to, involving, or representing different races: interracial fellowship; an interracial neighborhood. warfare on civil-rights charges.
``While we are feeling good ... there is still much more work to be done,'' Bratton said.
While Valley homicide rates jumped, citywide the homicide rate was down 2.4 percent, to 478 killings, and overall serious crime dropped 7.7 percent. The Valley, however, saw a double-digit increase in crime.
In all, 87 people were killed in the Valley last year -- 13 more than in 2005. There also were 460 more robberies in 2006 than in 2005, an 18.5 percent rise.
City Councilman Bernard Parks, the former police chief, says recent changes in crime reporting by the LAPD 1. LAPD - Link Access Procedure on the D channel.
2. LAPD - Los Angeles Police Department. mask the truth about the city's crime rate.
``If you go out in public and listen, they know whether the city is safer than in the past and the public doesn't believe it's safer than it is in the past. It's just a manipulation of numbers.''
Smaller cities and unincorporated areas in Los Angeles County patrolled by the Sheriff's Department saw the first drops after several years of increasing violence.
The number of serious felonies in areas patrolled by the Sheriff's Department fell 4 percent, to 86,323, last year. That followed increases in serious crimes, which steadily rose from 86,289 in 2001 to 90,051 in 2005.
The number of gang homicides in sheriff's areas dropped 16 percent last year, to 188. The number of gang homicides had risen 27 percent, from 164 in 2003 to 224 in 2005.
Too many slayings
Sheriff Lee Baca Leroy David Baca (b. May 27 1942, East Los Angeles, California) is the Sheriff of Los Angeles County, California.
After graduating from Benjamin Franklin High School (Los Angeles) in 1960, Baca worked his way through East Los Angeles College before starting with the L.A. credited the drop in gang homicides to a task force in Compton (where homicides fell from 72 to 38), better cooperation between deputies and the communities they police and additional funds from the Board of Supervisors, including $250 million in one-time funds to improve jails and $70 million to hire more deputies.
``I'm very pleased that the murders are going down, but I'm not happy with the total number of murders,'' Baca said. ``And when we look at the whole county, including the city of Los Angeles
``This is unacceptable. It doesn't give me any sense of relief that we have turned the corner on gangs. We have not turned the corner on gangs.
``I believe that the county, the city of Los Angeles and the independent cities all need to hire thousands of more street cops in order to focus on the gang problem, much as we needed three years ago when the half-cent sales tax sales tax, levy on the sale of goods or services, generally calculated as a percentage of the selling price, and sometimes called a purchase tax. It is usually collected in the form of an extra charge by the retailer, who remits the tax to the government. was proposed.''
With increased funding, Baca said, he hired about 1,000 deputies last year and has reduced an 1,100-deputy shortfall a few years ago to about 650 now.
Baca moved the Safe Streets Bureau to the Detective Division and two months ago moved it back to the Field Operations Division in the part of the county that has seen the largest number of gang killings in the past six years. That includes the Lennox, Century, Compton and Carson stations.
Baca said he also wants gang investigators to spend more time on the streets, work Friday and Saturday nights and spend less time behind their desks.
Martin Vranicar, chairman of the county's Inter-Agency Gang Task Force, said the Sheriff's Department is doing a ``credible job'' addressing gang violence.
``In my mind, when they have the resources to apply to the problem, they do an outstanding job. But you are always in a situation where you are robbing Peter to pay Paul.''
Staff Writer Ruby Gonzales contributed to this story.
photo, 2 boxes
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, left, and Police Chief William Bratton present preliminary year-end crime statistics and discuss the department's accomplishments.
David Sprague/Staff Photographer
(1) Los Angeles city and county crime
Warren Huskey/Staff Artist
(2) L.A. overall crime
Source: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept.; Los Angeles Police Dept.