Reacting to recent violence in South Orange County, City Councilman Mark Goodman is proposing measures the city should take to ensure the safety of residents.
In a letter to Mayor Janet Godfrey, Goodman offers eight suggestions he says will focus the council on supporting and augmenting the efforts of the courts, District Attorney's office and Sheriff's Department to control crime.
Goodman said in an interview that he derived the suggestions from talking with representatives of the three law-enforcement branches.
"The bottom line is that in Laguna Niguel we're going to do everything possible to stem the tide (of crime) a little bit and take a tougher stance," he said.
Goodman's proposal, to be considered by the council Tuesday, suggests the council should:
* Formally support the Sheriff's Department's policy of moving quickly to break up gatherings of youths that show "signs of gang, anti-social or violent activity."
* Support legislation that "provides for additional, mandatory sentences for those committing violent crimes." Specifically, Goodman says, the council should back the so-called "1-2-3 Initiative" that would mandate longer prison sentences for third-time violent offenders. (Supporters of the 1-2-3 Initiative are gathering signatures to put it on the ballot.) And, the council should call for the Legislature to revoke a state law allowing convicted felons to serve half of their sentences through good behavior while in custody.
* "Formally encourage the most aggressive prosecution of violent felons and the application of the most stringent penalties upon those convicted of violent crimes."
* Continue efforts "to investigate, monitor and promote programs, policies, ordinances and legislation that will protect the citizens of Laguna Niguel against violent crime, with special emphasis to be given to protecting the children of our community."
* Authorize the mayor to request that the county extend the police/school liaison program to Aliso Viejo schools, where some Laguna Niguel children are enrolled.
* Consider helping fund the Human Relations Commission's program to put a commission counselor on each high school campus in South County.
* Direct city staff to expedite an anti-graffiti ordinance.
* Encourage community, church and service groups to create programs that offer job opportunities and internships to youths in need.