Three Years of the Safer Cities Initiative
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Allocation of Officers Not Supported by Crime Statistics
“It’s not abnormal for the DA to have a policy. But this policy is about targeting the homeless in that area because the city is redeveloping that area. It’s a policy to get people off the streets and into state prison, jumping right over rehab and jail.” Public Defender—Daily Journal, January 29, 2007
Outgoing LAPD Chief William Bratton has touted his use of Compstats and other crime data as a way to ensure that officers in Los Angeles are deployed to areas most in need. However, an examination of crime data versus officer deployment rates in Skid Row illustrates a markedly different reality. The data does not support the three-year allocation of 50 additional uniformed officers and dozens of undercover officers in the Skid Row area.
For example, the number of violent crimes per officer in Newton and 77th Divisions are 240 percent higher than in Central Division. Newton and 77th Divisions, in South Central Los Angeles, are low-income neighborhoods home to predominately Latino and African American residents. Central Division has been rapidly gentrifying over the past 5 to 10 years and, outside of the Skid Row community, is largely home to wealthy white people. The number of officers assigned to these divisions is clearly not based on the levels of violent crime, as promised by Bratton, but instead on the needs and demands of wealthier residents and developers.