LA Anti-Gang Program Gets Expanded Today

(Wire Service Reports)

June 28, 2010

An anti-gang program credited with helping the city record its safest summer in 40 years by providing youths in troubled neighborhoods with sports and recreational activities will be expanded today.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Police Chief Charlie Beck and other city officials will make the announcement during a press conference at the Highland Park Recreation Center.

Last year, Summer Night Lights kept 16 parks across the city open until midnight, allowing youths to participate in basketball and soccer tournaments; workshops in acting, music, dance, fashion; aerobics classes; and film screenings.

The program, run by the mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development, began with eight parks in 2008.

That year, gang crime in the surrounding neighborhoods dropped 17 percent; homicides declined by 86 percent; and aggravated assaults by 23 percent, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Officials said it was city’s safest summer since 1967.

Encouraged by that success, Villaraigosa doubled the number of participating parks in 2009.

The program ran for nine weeks — from Independence Day through Labor Day — at a cost of about $2.8 million, or an average of $255,000 for each park.

Half of the money came from private foundations, and the rest came from the city.

The City Council’s recently disbanded Ad Hoc Committee on Gang Violence estimated that Los Angeles is home to 400 gangs with 39,000 members — 10 percent of whom are responsible for about 80 percent of all the crimes in the city.

Aside from Summer Nights Lights, Villaraigosa’s anti-gang strategy also includes contracting with so-called gang interventionists to provide crisis management after a gang shooting, negotiate cease-fires, and reconcile rival gangs. It also provides after-school and job training programs for at-risk youth and gang members.

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5 Comments for “LA Anti-Gang Program Gets Expanded Today”

  1. big time

    LOL IT SAYS THERES 400 GANGS AND 39000 GANG MEMBERS??? THATS A JOKE… THERES ABOUT 500 MEXICAN GANGS, 200 CRIP GANGS, 80 BLOOD GANGS, 30-40 ASIAN GANGS AND LIKE 20 CAUCASIAN GANGS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY. WITH ABOUT 200000 MEXICAN GANGMEMBERS, 100000 BLACK GANG MEMBERS ABOUT 15000 ASIANS AND 5-10000 WHITES SO ABOUT 300000+ GANG MEMBERS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY. AND IT WONT STOP SO YALL CAN STOP THAT ANTI-GANG BULLSHIT! THATS A WASTE OF MONEY! USE THE MONEY ON SOMETHING IMPORTANT LIKE FIXING THE POT HOLES IN THE STREETS!

  2. j

    You got gang members in Alaska to Maryland and Mississippi, that bang LA gangs and sets. like big time said they need to use that money for them pot holes on Vermont Avenue.

    Just because there is a low on violence doesnt solve the problem of gang membership. There are more gang members then every before, but there is a lack of gang bangers. Most are dead and in jail.

  3. Big Time, police dont know that, they dont dont know thats gang are selling drugs in school

  4. Leo

    AntiGang is great for the world. End of violence.

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