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JUSTICE FOR A PRICE; PROSECUTORS SELL LOGO PRODUCTS TO BENEFIT PROGRAMS FOR KIDS.

Byline: Jesse Hiestand Daily News Staff Writer

Pressed to find an offbeat gift that will give a certain someone a holiday charge? Fighting a nagging conviction that the perfect choice is just out of reach?

Don't count out the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office and its collection of merchandise named Justice Line II.

From mouse pads to T-shirts, water bottles to bomber jackets, the office recently began selling items bearing the district attorney's logo in a bid to help fund the Crime Prevention and Youth Services Bureau.

The logo pictures the personification of Justice and her scales on items priced from $3.75 for a 15-ounce mug to $125 for a wheeled carrying case.

``We don't have a lot of money for the various programs where our deputy district attorneys volunteer to assist kids, so this is a way to raise a little money and help the kids stay in school and keep them away from gangs and drugs,'' said District Attorney Gil Garcetti.

Most of the customers so far have been prosecutors buying holiday gifts for their families.

Garcetti said he is among the satisfied customers.

``It was a little cold in my office (Friday) so I put on one of the fleece coats, and I got more compliments on it,'' he said. ``People were surprised at how good it looked.''

This fund-raising campaign is similar to one started earlier by the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office, which in five years has made more than $2 million selling merchandise with the telltale chalk outline of a body.

``We're doing bang-up business here,'' said coroner's spokesman Scott Carrier. The most popular item: a $25 beach towel.

``Always during the holidays there is a big turnout of folks on last-minute shopping efforts who stop here for some unusual gifts.''

The proceeds from the coroner's gift shop benefit the Youthful Drunk Driving Program, which gives first-time drunk drivers a chance to avoid jail by touring the coroner's office, including the vault where bodies are stored. They some who were killed in incidents involving drivers under the influence of alcohol.

The district attorney has no gift shop, and the merchandise may be ordered by calling (818) 879-5700. An order form also can be downloaded and the merchandise viewed online at http://da.co.la.ca.us/store.

Among the items organizers like best is a millennium clock.

``It commemorates the 150th anniversary of the D.A.'s Office and counts down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until the year 2000,'' said Jerri Patchett, director of the Crime Prevention and Youth Services Bureau.

The clocks have been selling briskly since they were first offered on Dec. 11, she said. Sweat shirts and pens are also going fast.

A new line of gear is expected in the spring. Already in the planning stages is a barbecue apron with the slogan: ``I've been grilled by the D.A.''

CAPTION(S):

2 photos

PHOTO (1) A clock being sold by Los Angeles County prosecutors ticks off the seconds until Jan. 1, 2000.

(2) A mouse pad is among gifts prosecutors are selling online.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Dec 21, 1998
Words:518
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