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Reply to "Should Affluent Blacks Stay or Flee Blighted Communities."

"I grew up in Watts as well. Whether you choose to move or stay you can still make an impact.

What type of change do you want to make is my question? When I lived in L.A., I volunteered with Black organizations in an attempt to make change. Don't know how much change was made but all you can do is try no matter where you live.

Personally, I had much more peace not hearing the helicopters and gunshots before going to sleep. Being able to walk down the streets without fear was nice.

Living in Watts is no joke. There are places that aren't too bad but some areas are dangerous and you must consider the danger not only to yourself, but to any children you may have.

Good luck." by honie

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...and Honie,

....for those who remain, Watts, South Central Los Angeles, etc., are in store for brighter days. The move to make Los Angeles a world class city continues, and the undesirables are being driven from area, to make this area more business friendly, safer, and financially attractive, to which property values, employment opportunities, etc., are on the rise. LAPD, Federal police, and other policing authorities are making use of HR 1279 to rid this area of gangmembers, drug dealers, and/or any co-conspirator in such activity.

Over the past decade criminal activity, gang violence, senseless shooting and maiming, etc., in Watts, Compton, South Central Los Angeles, etc., is on the decline. For few Black people who have remained, who also own property, their property values have soared, businesses that formerly treated this area as if it had the "cooties" are now returning. New public schools and libraries have been built and/or are being built. The demographics of South Central Los Angeles, Watts, and Compton have changed from formerly predominately Black people to Hispanic, the majority of the property owners, and small business owners of Watts, South Central Los Angeles, and Compton are now predominately Hispanic.

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Police Make Presence Felt on South L.A. Homicides, Ranks of detectives are being doubled in the area, which has a history of high caseloads and unsolved crimes. Early results are promising.

By Jill Leovy, Times Staff Writer

December 30, 2005

Los Angeles police officials are in the process of nearly doubling the number of detectives devoted to homicide cases across the most violent swatches of South Los Angeles.

The plan is part of a larger effort to address the hundreds of unsolved homicides in the city's most violent area.

In addition to adding detectives, it calls for improving treatment and protection of victims and witnesses, and launching a new billboard campaign to encourage the public to cooperate with investigators.

Calling the high caseloads of Los Angeles Police Department detectives in high-crime areas "substandard," Deputy Chief Earl Paysinger, head of the LAPD's South Bureau, said the addition of detectives "is an investment this organization must make in the future."

Homicide detectives in South Los Angeles have long had the highest caseloads in the city and produced some of the lowest rates of solved killings.

The result for years has been that murderers have been more likely to get away with their crimes in South L.A. than in wealthier, safer parts of the city.

By expanding the ranks of homicide detectives and reducing high caseloads, Paysinger said, he hopes to ensure that South Los Angeles killings get more police attention.

The LAPD's South Bureau handles the city's three most dangerous divisions: Southwest, 77th Street and Southeast. The new initiative has increased the number of homicide detectives working in those divisions about 50% in recent months.

Rates of solved killings are improving as detectives get more time for each case, he said.

To get the detectives, cuts will be needed elsewhere, including gang details and robbery-detective squads, police officials conceded.

Homicides in South Los Angeles and the police department's ability to address them have been the focus of a series of Los Angeles Times articles over the last two years. The articles have documented the high caseloads in the South Bureau, the lack of equipment for detectives, the corresponding low rates of cleared homicides and the mistrust of police by residents skeptical that authorities are able to solve crimes.

An internal LAPD review this year produced similar findings: In general, when detective caseloads are highest, murderers are most likely to go free, Paysinger said.

As the impetus for the department's new effort, Paysinger cited both the internal study and a Times article last June that followed a homicide squad as it sought to solve the murder of auto-parts salesman Jerry Wesley Jr.

The effort to beef up homicide investigations marks a departure from more conventional crime-fighting strategies in South L.A.

Typically, those have sought to prevent crime and have hinged on increasing the visibility of police "” particularly uniformed officers "” on the streets.

By boosting the number of plainclothes detectives trying to crack the scores of unsolved South-Central homicides, Paysinger is going at crime from another direction, trying to improve the way police react.

In part, said LAPD South Bureau Cmdr. Michael Downing, officials believe that many killers are multiple murderers. Catching them will prevent subsequent crimes, he said.

The department is also seeking a long-term, less easily measured result: improving trust.

Vast numbers of unsolved homicides in black and Latino communities of South Los Angeles have reinforced a belief among residents that the police don't care or can't be relied on to stand up to predators, Downing and Paysinger said.

That belief has persisted even though the South Bureau has posted the second-steepest drop in homicides of any of the LAPD's four bureaus this year. As of Dec. 24, South Bureau homicides stood at 202, down 14% from the 234 recorded last year.

Nonetheless, the rate is still high, and the unsolved homicides reduce people's willingness to cooperate with the police and further weaken the ability to rein in lawlessness, they said.

The goal of the new effort is to try to break that cycle.

"We have to give the community confidence that we have the ability to solve crime and that we can put perpetrators in jail," Downing said. "Right now, people are afraid to cooperate, and we have to deal with that fear.

"In time, we can raise the community's expectations, and that's when we will get a long-term preventive effect," he said.

Added Paysinger: "When homicides resonate so much in the hearts and minds of this community, this organization has an extra responsibility to respond."

The three divisions in the South Bureau have 52 detectives, up from about 35 in early 2005, Paysinger said. More detectives are in training or being selected.

The rate at which killings are resolved in some way "” either by an arrest or by the identification of a suspect who is being sought, is expected to top 60% in the LAPD's South Bureau this year for the first time in six years, up from 38% in 2000.

The department is also making other small, practical changes in its response to homicide. A mobile home once used to shelter witnesses and victims' family members has been returned to service, Downing said. And detectives in the Southeast Division have been given equipment to record interrogations.

The strategy carries risks in addition to the possibility of depleting other parts of the force.

Preventive policing has dominated research in criminal justice for years, leaving LAPD officials with few studies to draw on as they try to figure out how to improve investigative policing. The long-term trust-building effect that Downing cites remains largely theoretical.

Finally, improving the quality of homicide investigations may take many years to pay off, a daunting prospect in Los Angeles, where crime trends are measured week to week and police commanders are under pressure to produce quick results.

Opinions about the recent changes in the South Bureau varied among rank-and-file detectives. Some said the LAPD's resources would be better spent on expanding patrol ranks. But many gave the recent changes rave reviews.

"It's worth the money," said Det. Stan Evans of the LAPD's Southwest Division, which used to have 11 homicide detectives and now has 20. "It makes a difference."

Evans described a case from earlier this year "” the daytime killing of 17-year-old Lance Brodis near Crenshaw Mall.

Shortly after the shooting, the suspected killer was spotted at a nearby address. There were many witnesses, two crime scenes and rival gangs involved (though police had no evidence of Brodis' being a gang member, Evans said).

A pair of detectives per crime scene is often all that the LAPD can manage. But this time, Evans said, Southwest was able to put a dozen homicide detectives on the case right away. They interviewed 15 witnesses within hours of the shooting and made an arrest a week later, Evans said.

Similarly, Det. Rocky Sato of the LAPD's 77th Street Division said more detectives there have "absolutely" improved the department's response to homicide.

Sato was unapologetic about homicide cases drawing away resources from other areas. "Homicide is the ultimate crime as far as I'm concerned," Sato said. "What's worse?"

In the Southeast Division, Det. Chris Barling, whose frustration with the low public priority assigned to homicide was described in the Times story in June, said he remains plagued by the sense that most people don't care about urban homicide so long as it remains confined to poor minority neighborhoods.

But he said Paysinger's recent efforts have changed his view somewhat.

Paysinger "really does care," Barling said. "He may not know the answers. But at least he cares."

Copyright 2006 Los Angeles Times

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In addition, South Central Los Angeles, Compton, Watts, etc., are becoming more integrated than at any other time since the 60s. I live at the south most edge of Korea Town, on the borderline between South Central Los Angeles, and Korea Town, to which just last Friday, LAPD and Federal policing authorities worked in conjunction to make arrests, place barridades, place yellow caution tape, etc., to block access, for at least four hours, for any resident in the neighborhood, myself inclusive to return to their place of residency.

HR 1279 in pdf.

.......and those in the gang community, and those who harbor them should quit while they are ahead, or else face serious consequences.


HR 1279, etc., a tool of policing authorities to put the illicit drug dealers, and those who harbor them out of commission.

The LAPD, Federal policing authorities, canines, and the use of "Ghetto birds" were used to conduct a several hour policing investigation. At the end of this search and apprehend mission, several Black gangmembers who were brandishing and shooting firearms, who were involved in the illicit drug trade, and/or who forced their way into a residence at gunpoint, a few houses south of where I reside, are now behind bars. These individuals will soon face years of penal incarceration for their involvement in very serious criminal behavior.

It is certain that the owner of the property where this illicit activity took place is also under investigation. In some cases, those who own property, who knowingly rent their property to drug dealers, are being forced by government authorities, to relinquish the ownership of their property to the government. Those actually involved in illicit drug dealing, and/or any property owner who harbors such activity, will pay a steep price for their actions, a price that is making South Central Los Angeles, Compton, Watts, Inglewood, Pacoima, East Los Angeles, Long Beach, Lynwood, etc., etc., much safer places to live.

Hang in there, Honie. My sister and her husband purchased property in the vacinity of 125th and Normandie, and the property values of anyone who owns property in Watts have risen dramatically. This is definitely a very good time to buy property in Watts, South Central Los Angeles, Compton, etc., because property values that have long remained at the bottom of the financial benefit chain, are now rising fast, namely because of the changing safer environment of these areas. In this instance, gentrification and re-gentrification of this area are a good thing, and are a very positive influence in making the community a safer, prosperous living and business environment.

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