Security vs. Homegrown Terrorists
LA's Year to Date Homicides Up Almost 25% ... what to do?
To: Office of the Mayor, the City Council, the LAPD ... and all
As of this writing, LAPD's "Citywide Crime Statistics"
for the week ending August 3rd reveal that homicide rates have skyrocketed
to a whopping 24.6 % over last year at this time ... and 23.4 %
over two years ago.
Thus far, 385 LA residents have died, and a disproportionate number
of these deaths are gang related.
In many areas the statistics are even worse. I'm told Hollenbeck
Division, where I'm privileged to serve as a Community-Police Advisory
Board (C-PAB) member, had 36 homicides through the end of July ...
and "only" 38 in all of last year.
Hollenbeck is not alone. Other LAPD Divisions, such as some of those
in South Central and the Valley, have suffered just as badly, too.
Department - Wide
CRIME AND ARREST
the week ending August 3, 2002
To me this is shocking, and completely unacceptable.
That being said I feel we need to take a hard look at some of the
reasons, and ask the obvious question, "What are we going to
do about it?"
We all need to seek solutions ...
For this reason I'm writing this article asking what can be done
... an article in which I'm requesting a direct response from the
Office of the Mayor, the City Council, and the LAPD ... a community
partnership with all of them will be required to combat Homegrown
But I'm also asking for a response from YOU, the thousands of Angelenos
who regularly visit and read the Los Angeles Community Policing
website here at LACP.org each month.
I intend to make this method of including everyone in the dialogue
a regular weekly feature.
I'll call it the "Question of the Week" and post responses.
It's my belief that the emphasis for crime suppression needs to
include an aggressive and committed shift from being RE-active (deploying
platoons of "extra" officers to put out fires after they've spring
up) to being PRO-active (creating inter-departmental professional
law enforcement and social service teams capable of predicting and
preventing hot spots before they erupt).
We must engage all available resources available from both inside
and outside the LAPD.
Ideally, this cooperative effort should involve every government
agency, at the Federal, State, County and City levels ... and every
resident of Los Angeles.
Indeed, that's at the heart of our LA Community Policing advocacy.
As always, the focus of this article is not be on complaining about
the problem but on seeking the solution. I discuss the homicide
rate out of a necessity to understand where we are now, but I wish
to engage ALL the stakeholders of the community in the discussion
about how we can encourage meaningful partnerships that will reduce
violent crime and improve the quality of life.
The title, "Homeland Security vs. Homegrown Terrorists," springs
from the observation that we've been expending our limited resources
... our recent efforts, energy, programs and funding ... concentrating
on securing us from outside militant groups. Billions of dollars
originally earmarked by the Federal Government for community policing
and public safety programs has been diverted to "Homeland Security,"
and the perception is that we've taken our eye off the ball locally.
The gangs know this, too.
I feel we need a far more significant commitment of proactive resources
to pay attention to our own "local terrorists" and the terrible
suffering they cause.
Los Angeles Community Policing recognizes there is no quick fix,
and that this will require a concerted and committed effort, and
an ongoing dialogue involving all interested parties. As I've heard
it expressed, "We need to work smarter ..."
So, for the first time, I'm trying something new ...
wish to include your perspective and some of your ideas, making
this article the beginning of a dialogue about stopping the violence,
and a true LACP community effort.
I posting this by email to the members of the LA Community Policing
e-group and a few other LACP individuals asking for their input
BEFORE the article was published, so you'd see how this will work.
Here's some of the results ...
be adding to the responses all week long as replies come to me.
And next week I'll pick another topic (feel free to suggest a future
"Question of the Week).
Our practice is to protect the anonymity of any individual whose
opinion we use on the site, so unless you specifically tell us it's
OK to use your name, we won't.
But our preference is for participants to give us permission to
use their names, the sections of the city they're from, and / or
an appropriate title.
As I said, if you wish your contribution to be included simply use
the link I've provided above, and I'll be able to track your comments
and post them as soon as possible.
Let's see if together we can make a difference!
Yours in service,
LA Community Policing