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Homeland Security vs. Homegrown Terrorists
LA's Year to Date Homicides Up Almost 25% ... what to do?

Bill Murray - 8/06/02


Homeland 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 Angelenos

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
For 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 Terrorism.

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 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 ...

I 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 ...

I'll 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,

Bill Murray
LA Community Policing


Note: This list will not be shared with any other group, nor will it be used for purposes other than promoting Los Angeles Community Policing.

Yours in service,

Bill Murray

Thank you for supporting your LAPD Officers.

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