01/14/2007

Increased police presence, overtime urged in L.A. anti-gang plan

By Richard Winton and Megan Garvey, Times Staff Writers
Copyright 2007 Los Angles Times

The proposed push to attack Los Angeles gang crime seems straightforward enough: increase the police presence, broaden gang injunctions, start issuing "stay away" orders for hot spots and target the city's top 10 havoc-wreaking gangs.

But even as the plans are being drawn up, there are significant questions about whether the police personnel, jail beds and gang intervention programs exist to back up the effort, prompted by a 14% increase in gang-related crime.

Los Angeles Police Department officials said last week that finding enough street officers to make a difference in the hardest-hit communities may prove hard. Although the LAPD has the money to make more hires, the department fell 300 officers short of its hiring goal last year.

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