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A Call for Krupke

July 24, 1988

Contrary to what I'm quoted as saying in your June 19 article, "Tchaikovsky and the Gang," (by Douglas Sadownick), I don't believe the Police Department wants to close the El Centro Wilshire Family Center.

I also did not observe the department's CRASH program (Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums) as suffering "confusion between keeping the peace and unconscious racism." I am careful to avoid generalizations like "cops are racist" and "gang members are criminals."

Gangs have been a part of our communities for a long time. In recent years positive community resources have been stripped away, and as founding director of the center I wanted to provide those resources.

Perhaps law enforcement policy makers need to explicitly support non-combative community resources offering alternatives in troubled neighborhoods. Our city needs Officer Krupke, not Dirty Harry.

CARMELO ALVAREZ

Former Director

El Centro Wilshire Family Center

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