Jordan Downs in Watts marks three years without a homicide
La Times Homicide Report
Posted Aug. 28, 2014, 9:53 p.m.
The last time someone was killed inside the Jordan Downs Housing Development in Watts, a man chased 48-year-old Antonio McNeil and shot him in a drug dispute in broad daylight. Video cameras installed in the development captured the chase and subsequent killing.
That was three years ago today.
It’s a different kind of anniversary in an area long known for gang violence: No one has been killed within the boundaries of the development since Aug. 28, 2011.
“It’s really incredible to think there are kids who have been in Jordan Downs for the last three years and can say, ‘I’ve never seen a homicide,’ ” Capt. Phil Tingirides told the city’s housing authority commission Thursday at a meeting in Watts.
Tingirides, who has headed the Southeast LAPD station more than 7 years, said that from 2001 to 2011, 78 people were killed within the housing developments that include Nickerson Gardens, Imperial Courts and Jordan Downs.
Police credit the absence of killings to a combination of efforts, including those of community activists and gang interventionists. There are also security cameras in the developments to capture criminal activity. But in 2011, LAPD, along with funding from the housing authority, launched a program called the Community Safety Partnership, which places officers on the ground in the housing developments in Watts and in Ramona Gardens in Boyle Heights. Each development is staffed with about 11 officers who walk foot beats, patrol and connect with the community through various activities like youth sports.
The other developments in the Community Safety Partnership have seen only four homicides in the past three years. In each case, an arrest was made within two weeks thanks to help from the community, Tingirides said. Police didn’t see any retaliatory shootings.