On the gang front

first_imgWith the appropriate swiftness and sense of urgency, the Los Angeles Police Department has swept through several of the city’s key neighborhoods, waging a guerrilla campaign against L.A.’s gangs. And, albeit with much less swiftness and sense of urgency, members of the City Council are beginning to look into how to tackle the gang problem comprehensively. Taken in total, this is a positive sign that Los Angeles is finally getting serious about eradicating the scourge of urban terrorism that gangs inflict on our neighborhoods. On Friday morning, the LAPD and the county’s Department of Probation cracked down on gang members throughout Southern California, from Palmdale to Hollywood, with special emphasis on Panorama City and Mission Hills. Responding to two recent slayings stemming from a shattered peace between two rival gangs, the law enforcement agencies were determined to contain the violence before it grew out of hand. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week And so 84 officers from six agencies raided 54 locations, arresting 22 gang members and confiscating various illegal weapons. “This wasn’t a one-time thing,” said Mission Area Capt. Kirk Albanese. “This is going to be an ongoing effort until we get this under control.” As well it should be. But fighting gangs takes much more than a strong police presence, and that’s where the City Council comes into the equation. On Friday, the council approved a measure calling for an outside consultant to study the possibility of creating a new division to coordinate anti-gang efforts. To be sure, studies and consultants are more often a way for politicians to ignore problems, not confront them, and public vigilance will be necessary to make sure this isn’t just one more tedious exercise in bureaucracy. That said, there is a logic to centralizing anti-gang efforts – whether it’s family interventions, after-school programs or law enforcement – so as to maximize results. If the City Council is sincere about comprehensively taking on gangs, that is a welcome development. Because while police sweeps are crucial to combating gang culture, far better would be to overhaul that culture entirely.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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