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Community News: Southwest

CRENSHAW : Police Crackdown at Smiley-Hauser

February 14, 1993|JAKE DOHERTY

A community-based policing task force is cracking down on crime at Smiley Drive and Hauser Boulevard.

From Jan. 25 to Feb. 3, police made 151 arrests near the intersection, said Capt. Julius Davis of the Police Department's Wilshire Division. Officers also confiscated eight handguns and a shotgun, he said.

"Smiley and Hauser is a corner known throughout Los Angeles as a problem area," Davis said. He cited numerous complaints from residents, including drug dealing, gang conflicts and frequent gunfire--some of it directed at officers on patrol.

The task force has deployed foot, mounted, motorcycle and car patrols, brought in officers from the metropolitan and gang units and is working with City Councilman Nate Holden's office, other city agencies and residents to clean up graffiti and step up enforcement of traffic codes, Davis said.

"It's a lot better now than it used to be," said Phil Richards, who has lived in the neighborhood for four years. "The drug dealing is still going on, but it isn't as bold as it was."

But other residents said the neighborhood remains tense. The crackdown has "made a difference only in the daytime, but there's still shooting every night," said one resident who asked for anonymity. "We need more patrols more often. Sometimes all four corners are full of crack dealers."

A 19-year-old credited the police for making the neighborhood "a little bit quieter," but said that officers sometimes stopped people for no apparent reason. "If you look young or Mexican, they're hassling you," he said.

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