Study Would Look at Gang Violence in Area

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will vote Tuesday on a motion to study gang violence in the San Fernando Valley.

The motion, proposed this week by Supervisor Mike Antonovich, directs a committee of county law enforcement officials to study gang problems, assess the effectiveness of a 1993 gang treaty, and report back to the Board of Supervisors in 60 days.

The panel, called the Countywide Criminal Justice Coordination Committee, includes representatives of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the Los Angeles Superior and Municipal courts, the district attorney's and public defender's offices, the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Los Angeles Police Department.

Although gang-related crime in the San Fernando Valley has increased 3.65% in the first six months of the year compared with the same period last year, gang-related killings have decreased considerably during the same time, said Lt. Fred Tuller, coordinator for the LAPD's CRASH unit, a special gang enforcement team.

"Gang homicides throughout the Valley have actually gone down 45%," Tuller said. "Through the end of June, we've had 11 homicides versus 20 during the same period in 1998."

He attributed the decrease to special law enforcement units--like CRASH and CLEAR--that target and track gangs.

"Everyone is paying more attention," Tuller said. "There's more emphasis on gangs."

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