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Targeted Policing A Good Goal

In his State of the City speech Tuesday, Mayor Eric Garcetti confirmed what many Angelenos suspected; violent crime has been increasing in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck last month reported that certain categories of crime had gone up significantly in some areas of the city. The data, however, did not seem to generate the same attention as the mayor’s announcement that 200 hundred police officers will be reassigned to LAPD’s elite Metro unit, a specialized mobile unit that can be more easily deployed to high crime areas.

Violent crime has increased 27% and property crimes have jumped 12% compared to the same time last year.

The change in LAPD officer assignments will also place a greater emphasis on community policing within the department.

Neither the mayor or police chief explained what is driving the crime hike, beyond saying much of the increase is due to gangs fighting for territory and drug sale income.

That may be true, but why is it happening now, and why so quickly? What has changed since to spur the first real increase since 2010?

Residents in Northeast L.A. say they believe the governor’s prison realignment, and the passage of Proposition 47, which decriminalized certain categories of crime are to blame.

We believe residents deserve an honest explanation and discussion of how both those actions may be contributing to the increase in violence.

Garcetti noted that the violent crime numbers include a high number of domestic violence cases. We need to examine what is fueling this dangerous increase.

This page has always backed the use of community policing to address crime issues in the community and we are pleased that the department will step up its use.

By working together, Neighborhood Watch groups, LAPD senior lead officers, and neighborhood prosecutors can do a great deal to decrease crime and improve quality of quality in local neighborhoods.

But change will also require the cooperation of people living in those communities, and a willingness to reach out to neighbors and others.

EGP believes that greater knowledge of each other could have the added benefit of fewer lethal confrontations between the mentally ill and police, and other neighborhood problems.