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LOS ANGELES : $100,000 Grant Sought for Gang Tracking

May 21, 1995

The City Council approved applying for a $100,000 grant from the California Office of Criminal Justice Planning to acquire a computer system for the Los Angeles Police Department that would track activities of gang members.

The system, known as Gang Reporting Evaluation and Tracking, is already used by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department and would give the LAPD quicker access to updated information through a vast database.

Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg expressed concern that some innocent people might be targeted for tracking and suffer an invasion of privacy. She said: "Not all gang members are criminals." A police spokesman said certain criteria, such as gang tattoos and association with known gang members, would qualify someone for inclusion in the database. The computer database is maintained by Law Enforcement Communications Network, a private firm with a contract with the California Department of Justice. State approval of the grant is almost certain, according to city officials.

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