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Crime Prevention

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 1, 2009 | Garrett Therolf
Responding to a long-running pattern of child abuse deaths that might have been prevented, Los Angeles County supervisors unanimously ordered a renewed attempt Tuesday to ease communication among agencies that deal with troubled families. The order calls for an interlinked computer system that would expand child abuse investigators' ability to access records showing a family's criminal, educational and medical histories, including critical clues about dangers faced by children. Child advocates have pushed for such reforms for more than 18 years, to little avail.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 28, 2009 | Scott Gold
There was a logjam at the door of a makeshift schoolhouse one recent morning, because everyone was being scanned with a metal detector. There was a reason for that. Of the 50 students filing in for class, 45 were once gang members -- in at least 30 rival gangs. It was a swaggering crowd, with shaved heads and baggy pants, gold chains draped around thick necks. Many still used their street names: Brick. Q Ball. The students sat on metal folding chairs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 28, 2009 | Scott Gold
Alfred Lomas stood at the front of a bus. "This," he bellowed, "is not a bus!" The driver pulled out of the Dream Center, a church ministry where Lomas directs a mobile food bank. Lomas stared into the anxious faces of congregants and do-gooders, his sunglasses hiding dark, deep-set eyes that have seen more than their share of hurt, much of it of his own making. "This," he said, "is a vehicle of hope!" The bus lurched and sighed into South Los Angeles.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 26, 2009 | Patrick McGreevy
A key strategy in Los Angeles' battle against street gangs -- the use of court injunctions -- has come under attack by state lawmakers who are moving to strictly limit it. The state Senate has approved a measure that would allow suspected gang members who do not commit a crime for five years to be automatically removed from civil injunctions unless prosecutors can show they remain a public threat.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 7, 2009 | Scott Gold
The boys had made no effort to hide the shotgun, so it was found, loaded, right where they'd left it, on the top bunk in their bedroom, next to a pile of clothes and two school books, "Decimals" and "The Language of Literature." The LAPD had pulled up to the little house near midnight, with the boys in the back of two squad cars. There had been gunfire in the area, near Vernon Avenue, and the brothers had been picked up during a street sweep. They were known to the police; the older one had been in the Barrio Mojados gang for four years and walked with a slight limp after being shot by rivals.
NATIONAL
March 31, 2009 | Sam Quinones
The United States does not need to send troops to the border in response to Mexico's drug war, nor is Mexico in danger of becoming a failed state, law enforcement officials told a congressional panel Monday. Witnesses testifying before members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in El Paso urged the lawmakers to bolster law enforcement in the region, increase aid to Mexico and push to reform institutions whose weaknesses had been exposed by the struggle with drug trafficking gangs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 27, 2009 | Andrew Blankstein and Cara Mia DiMassa
The number of people who died on downtown L.A.'s skid row has declined by 36% in the last four years, according to city records, the latest sign of major changes on what for decades has been the city's epicenter of homelessness and drug-dealing. Excluding murders and suicides, 60 people died in the skid row area in 2008, according to Los Angeles Police Department statistics. In 2005, there were 94 such deaths.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 23, 2009 | Scott Gold
It is a Sunday morning and there is still dew on the grass outside Faith Inspirational Missionary Baptist Church. Already, God has received a standing ovation. The thermometer on the wall claims it's only 75 degrees in here, but congregants are dancing in the aisles, some with their shoes kicked off and stashed under the pews. Their sweat mixes with their tears, and for once in Compton, they are tears of joy. "People of faith!" thunders the Rev.
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