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L.A. Police Patrols and Fatal Gang Shooting in Westwood

February 06, 1988

Interesting that the LAPD has decided to triple patrols in the Westwood area in the wake of the fatal shooting of an innocent bystander.

Interesting because Westwood is not known as a gang haven, nor has it had a history of gang-related problems. Yet one fatal shooting occurs and the police are galvanized to action. Could it be that Westwood's location on our city's Westside gives it special privilege, since that region of L.A. is mainly white, affluent, and to a large extent politically well-connected?

L.A. has been plagued with the scourge of the gang menace for decades, yet all out action has never been taken to control or eradicate their illegal activities. South-Central L.A. and East L.A. are like war-zones in some areas because the police do not show the force necessary to take back control of such areas from the gangs.

The course of action to follow is simple. You fight fire with fire. The gangs take over neighborhoods through occupation and intimidation. The police should do the same thing to the gangs. Move into their areas, one at a time (since there is not the manpower to occupy several neighborhoods at once), and set up a police substation right in the middle of gang territory. Foot patrols and massive numbers will have the effect that a few police cruisers passing through occasionally do not. It costs money certainly, but now that the gang problem is encroaching on our more wealthy districts, perhaps the taxpayers will support the massive funding it will take.

J. SOFTLEY

Hollywood

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