New Gang Initiatives and a New 'Gang Czar' in Los Angeles

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Gang-related homicides are down in Los Angeles, except for the San Fernando Valley. Nobody seems to know why, although a new approach by the Los Angeles Police Department may be part of the reason. Whatever the answer, there are some 40,000 gang members who commit almost 60% of the murders in a city of 4 million people. Jeff Carr, minister of the Church of the Nazarene, says that means political leaders are failing and have been failing for the past 30 years. Those are strong words from the man who's been appointed by Mayor Villaraigosa to coordinate city efforts to cope with criminal gangs. Carr will have $168 million to work with as LA's ‘gang czar.' City Councilwoman Janice Hahn says that's not enough--by $40 million. On next February's ballot, she wants a $30 parcel tax on every property owner. We hear from Mayor Villaraigosa's gang czar, the councilwoman who's pushing for the new tax, a gang worker and the LAPD about Chief Bratton's new approach to gangs.



Warren Olney