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Solutions to High Murder Rate

December 15, 1996

* Re "Murder in Our Midst: Solutions Are Possible," editorial, Dec. 8: Your simplistic solutions are not viable in a society without any rational form of gun control. Goals such as better schools, good jobs and two-parent families are simply not realistic when considering local school support and federal government interest in providing jobs for those kicked off welfare.

As for the almost 9,500 murders in the last four years, this is just the tip of the iceberg when considering how many new policemen are needed. The cost to society for those who are shot and not killed must be horrendous. Your study only helps to define the problem but not a realistic solution.

BOB KERBER

Oceanside

* Thank you, Deputy Police Chief John D. White, LAPD, for your positive input in "Seeking Solutions" (Dec. 5). It is so good to hear someone speaking of an approach to causes rather than effects. I can even envision people not minding the bulldozing of "about 12 city blocks in South Central L.A." if a GM plant would be built there and people be given jobs.

EVELYN SEARS

Culver City

* Regarding your series on homicide clearance rates, Dec. 1-7: I have been a homicide detective for 17-plus years with the Inglewood Police Department. Homicide detectives work Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year's. We can go 24, 48 hours or longer with no sleep. We miss our kids' soccer games, Christmas plays.

We do not grumble or complain, but respond because we have one goal, to catch a killer in this ruthless society, to make this a safer place. While investigating these cases, we get lied to, doors slammed in our faces, rocks thrown. In 17 years, I can count maybe five times the family of a deceased has said "thanks." But we keep on trying, because we enjoy the thrill of having a jury say "guilty." That is our thanks.

Whether the victim is black, white or Latino, we try just as hard to find the person responsible.

Yes, a lot of cases don't get solved. People don't talk to the police like they did 20 years ago. When they do confide, they will not go to court, due to fear of retaliation. We all have cases where we know who was responsible but don't have that final ingredient to get them to court.

RUSSELL ENYEART

Inglewood

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