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Community Digest

Paramount : Residents to Give Opinions on Tax for Anti-Gang Effort

February 18, 1993

City officials plan to survey residents to see if they are willing to support a tax increase to fight gangs and improve the city's image.

A proposal presented to the City Council on Tuesday suggested tripling utility taxes to generate $1 million for the program. Council members postponed a vote Tuesday and asked staff to survey public support for proposal to raise utility taxes to 3% from 1%.

City officials said the proposal was developed in response to the slaying of three teen-agers in gang-related shootings during the last year and the publicity surrounding the killings.

Under the proposal, the city would hire more sheriff's deputies. The deputies and other sheriff's personnel in the city would be under the direction of a city official. One of the objectives of the new department would be to target the city's most dangerous gang members.

"This is a program for getting violent people off the street," City Manager William A. Holt said.

The new department would cost about $800,000 a year, Deputy City Manager Patrick West said. The city now pays about $4 million for police service.

The proposal also includes spending $150,000 for an 18-month public relations campaign to publicize the anti-gang effort and improve the image of the city.

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