Arthur A. Jones, J.D., Dr.jur.
Robin Wiseman, J.D., Dr.h.c.
International Human Rights Law and Policy
email to: Arthur@lacp.org
Church of the Resurrection
3324 East Opal Street
Los Angeles, CA 90023
Dear Father John,
Further to our recent telephone conversations, and in preparation
for the meeting of the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners
scheduled to take place at the Church of the Resurrection Tuesday,
Oct. 29, the following text summarizes our proposal for a model
gang violence reduction and monitoring commission in Boyle Heights.
The model comprises research, presentations, analysis and evaluations
of existing and planned programs, and continuous review and comparison
of successful anti-gang suppression and intervention teams nationwide
and internationally to the extent that their methods and results
may be replicated in Boyle Heights.
The approach will divide the subject matter into four basic, overlapping
Resources and Partnering;
Assessment and Corrections.
Assess the threat: including the number of gangs, approximate
strength. Estimate their turf sizes or territories using COMPSTAT
methods. Locate crime or violence hotspots and their patterns by
dates, locations, known offenders, victims, MFO (Most Frequently
Occurring) data, other relevant statistics and information.
Next, identify kingpin felons and assess their separate links or
conjunctions to the data listed above. Profile their hierarchies
and modus operandi, summarize them for inclusion in community meetings,
commission-police meetings, CPAB action, other. Research should
be designed to answer questions such as: What are the gangs' community
resources? What are their chief financial resources? What is the
most accurate available inventory of their estimated weaponry? What
are the extent and depth of their connections with international
drug cartels? Do they have a "children's army"? Can we identify
the chief recruiters? How much flux is there in their territorial
boundaries? Their membership numbers? How frequently do they leave
the boundaries and for what typical periods of time? What percentage
of them are "jumped in" for special planned criminal activities?
How much grass-roots support do they enjoy in the community? What
percentage of the surrounding population are reluctant supporters
or on the fringe? Can any of them be enlisted to supply intelligence
Assess Police Resources: How many anti-gang enforcement
sworn officers have had specialized training and experience and
are now available in Boyle Heights full time? Part time? On loan
from other divisions? What promises of expansion of force have been
made? When? What progress to date? How many High Impact Teams
can be fielded on short notice? How many Senior Lead Officers are
assigned to concentrate on hotspot areas? How much joint training
have they shared with anti-gang and anti-drug units? Do they regularly
feature scheduled meetings with parole and probation officers who
know the kingpin and supporter felons? What information can we obtain
from victims or impacted families? What is the inventory of local
legal remedies such as curfews or injunction programs? How narrowly
or specifically are they drafted and what are their success rates
citywide to date?
This category includes police-community partnership planning
for High Impact Suppression maneuvers. Planning and implementation
cooperation will focus on intervention strikes designed to remove
gang resources and weaponry, to identify shipment routes and couriers
for cash, drugs, weapons, other resources.
This part of the collaborative effort also features risk assessment
to determine the aggression rates for planned intervention strikes,
and will employ techniques for minimizing collateral damage in the
civilian population. Efforts will be on developing and maximizing
intelligence reports from parolees and neighborhood sources. Youth
counselors, Senior Lead Officers, and other knowledgeable sources
will be consulted in joint High-Impact information gathering patrols.
Post-op debriefings and feedback analysis will include neighborhood
commission members, who will participate also in evaluations and
III. Community Resources and Partnering:
This phase coordinates the efforts of community resources: Schools,
churches, businesses, youth activity services, social services,
and others. Together, the members identify causes of gang popularity,
such as tradition, social disintegration, demographics, unemployment,
educational opportunity deficits, domestic violence in the environment,
and many other factors.
Great efforts will be concentrated on planning and holding town
meetings; sponsoring anti-tagging teams; intensifying media relations
and distribution of information, including the scheduling and broad
public notification of participation opportunities. All information
will be shared through a central clearing house or community committee
that includes Senior Lead Officers, CPAB, specialized units, and
appropriate LAPD Command personnel. Together, the combined civilian-police
commission for Boyle Heights will process and consolidate intelligence
from neighborhood sources, anonymous tips, COMPSTAT data, and other
IV. Evaluation, Assessment, Corrections:
After holding introductory or organizational lectures, discussion
workshops and interviews, we would suggest question and answer sessions
with other agencies such as District Attorney; City Attorney; parole
and probation officers; school officials; social services; and many
others. Based on the initial responses from all participants, we
would research the most successful programs in other cities nationwide
that bear the closest similarities to Boyle Heights at each stage
of the developing program in terms of size, socio-economic factors,
resistance and obstacles to prevention and intervention efforts.
The next stage will be to hold follow-up lectures and workshops
to present comparative results from other jurisdictions and to make
recommendations based on those results for short and medium term
corrections and improvements.
At all stages, there must be a monitoring presence accepted by all
partners, which will review intervention operations, analyze intelligence
data emerging from combined sources, and propose tactical and strategic
corrections and refinements in a consensus-building process with
sworn officers, command officer staff, and community commission
As of today, a few of the cities with programs that would merit
attention and study and which would offer replicable features in
Boyle Heights initially include Fresno and Oxnard, California; Houston
and Dallas, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; the NYPD "CAGE" units as recently
reorganized to adapt to community policing concepts; and newly restructured
anti-gang units in Washington, DC; Baltimore, Maryland; Detroit,
Michigan; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Philadelphia and Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania, among others.
Several major European cities also should be studied for their specific
progress in anti-gang intervention, including Rome and Milan, Italy;
Zurich, Switzerland; Stockholm, Sweden; Paris, France; and Berlin,
Germany. Several major recent studies by the Department of Justice,
Office of Justice and Delinquency Prevention, such as those published
in 2000 and 2001 on Youth Gangs, Programs and Strategies, will also
be described and featured in lectures, discussions and partnership
The cooperative, interagency training and dialogue will emphasize
combining High-Impact Anti-Gang Violence Suppression work
with intelligence gathering, close interagency collaboration, and
full community policing partnerships to isolate and reduce the social
problems giving rise to gang activity and homicidal violence.
We will look forward to working closely with you to achieve our
common goal. Once again, let us express our gratitude for your good
works and your dedication to ending the continuing tragedies in
A. Jones, J.D., Dr.jur.
Wiseman, J.D., Dr.h.c.
--- Arthur A. Jones and Robin Wiseman are international human
rights lawyers with legal educations in the United States and Europe.
They are consultants and authors on international policing, social
policy and human rights, and regular contributors to the forum here
at LA Community Policing.
additional information or a complete list of references, contact: