CALIFORNIA BRIEFING / LOS ANGELES
The Los Angeles Police Department has created a special rapid-response unit to combat gang violence by “flooding” neighborhoods after an incident to prevent gang retaliation, part of an increased anti-gang effort announced by city leaders Thursday.
Police Chief William J. Bratton also has combined the narcotics division and gang division to allow detectives to better target gangs that support themselves through trafficking drugs and guns.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said gang prevention and intervention counselors from the city’s gang reduction and youth development programs would work with police.
The city also plans to expand the Summer Night Lights program that keeps city parks and community centers open late during the summer in high-crime areas. Plans also include establishing an academy to train anti-gang counselors and to conduct criminal background checks and drug tests on them.
-- Phil Willon