How community policing is changing South LA

The Los Angeles Police Department realized five months ago that it had a problem: violent crime was up, and half of the city’s shootings and murders were happening in just four of the LAPD’s 21 divisions -- all of them in South LA. So the LAPD came up with the Community Safety Operations Center. It’s a temporary command center set up in a conference room at LAPD headquarters. It’s staffed with about a half dozen officers almost 24 hours a day. Rows of computers are lined up on a couple of long tables; one huge screen displays a color-shifting map of the city. All day and night, the rotating team tracks crime in South LA and communicates with captains on the ground. It’s a way to focus resources on a part of the city that’s normally divided into separate police precincts that don’t communicate much with each other. Now that it’s in place, is it working to tamp down violent crime?