A countywide law enforcement task force studying the best ways to uniformly report gang crime will reconvene to consider a Los Angeles Police Department proposal that all local police agencies change the way they report gang violence, officials said Thursday.
The decision to reconvene the group came at the request of Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl F. Gates, who this week approved a change in emphasis in the way his department keeps track of gang crime.
In the past, the Los Angeles Police Department and other police agencies in the county have counted crimes as "gang related" if either suspect or victim was a gang member. Under the new LAPD system, increased emphasis will be placed on measuring "gang-motivated" crimes in which the motive is directly related to gang membership.
Using both approaches to counting gang crime, the Los Angeles Police Department has produced two dramatically different sets of statistics so far this year. Under the "gang-related" system, for example, the gang homicide count for the year is 174. But only 93 of those homicides are classified as "gang motivated."
Gates' request that the force reconvene follows months of meetings that produced a consensus to use the "gang-related" statistical approach in tracking gang crime.