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Bratton fine-tuning plan to cut gang crime in L.A.

February 06, 2007|Patrick McGreevy | Times Staff Writer

Police Chief William J. Bratton said Monday he is putting the finishing touches on a plan to reverse the recent increases in gang-related crime in Los Angeles.

Gang crime climbed 14% last year.

The chief testified before a City Council panel Monday that he and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa would announce a plan Thursday to crack down on the 10 to 20 worst gangs in the city.

"The initiative would include a cooperative effort with federal and local law enforcement and prosecutors," Bratton said.

"We believe that this level of coordination, some creativity and some of the activities we will engage in with the city attorney, district attorney and U.S. attorney will allow us to very quickly reverse the upward trend we saw last year, and at the end of 2007 see a decrease overall in that form of crime," Bratton said.

Councilman Jack Weiss, chairman of the council's Public Safety Committee, said he has already noticed changes in police deployment to deal with gang hot spots.

"You have been surging different sets of officers into different areas of the city," Weiss said.

Assistant Police Chief Earl Paysinger told the council he is focusing this year on reducing major traffic accidents and fatalities, especially in the San Fernando Valley, where they have reached unusually high levels.

Overall, Paysinger said the goal of the department is a 5% decline in serious crime this year. The city is off to good start, he said, noting that homicides are down 32% compared with a year ago.

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