City moves toward creating gang intervention training program

By Rick Orlov, Contra Costa Times
Posted: 12/14/2009 07:28:39 PM PST

ganginter

Taking the first step to professionalize gang intervention workers, a city panel recommended Monday paying a group $200,000 to create a training academy.

The Los Angeles Violence Intervention and Training Academy will develop a 150-hour program for intervention workers – many of whom have been working on their own to try and curb gang activity. Leaders say the program will be operating by March.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck told the City Council’s Public Safety Committee the new academy is critical to the city’s crime-fighting efforts.

“This will be a model for the nation,” said Beck, who has worked on gang issues for much of his 33-year career with the LAPD. “We are known for exporting the problem across the country. This will let us be known for how to solve the problem.”

The committee recommended awarding the contract to the Advancement Project, a civil rights law, policy and communications group headed by local civil rights attorney Connie Rice. Under the contract, the group also will operate the academy for a year.

Councilman Tony Cardenas, who chaired the ad hoc committee tasked with reforming the city’s anti-gang programs, voiced concerns about appointing a single agency to develop the academy.

“Why aren’t we reaching out to other organizations to also develop programs,” Cardenas said, citing the work of A Better LA, which has its own anti-gang efforts.

Guillermo Cespedes, director of the gang reduction program in the Mayor’s Office, said city leaders believe that working with a single agency will enhance accountability and transparency.

However, other agencies will be encouraged to continue their efforts and to send their anti-gang workers to the academy for training.

Plans also call for an advisory board to be established to oversee the results of the academy, its training and assure the certification of workers, Cespedes said.

Brian Center, executive director of A Better LA, endorsed the proposal with the Advancement Project.

“We will continue our work,” Center said. “But it’s important to get this started.”

It was the Advancement Project that released a report three years ago, recommending a formal system for training gang intervention workers.

Former Controller Laura Chick subsequently issued a similar report, which resulted in the City Council transferring all anti-gang programs to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s office.

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2 Comments for “City moves toward creating gang intervention training program”

  1. ThanksHi, very useful info, I love how easy it is to surf, I will keep visiting for more.Thank you.

  2. j

    Aint gonna work
    First off active gang bangers is not going provide anything useful to non active gang members.
    Second it will be a problem of where the money is going to what committee, to what city, county, area, etc…

    Mayor V need to get the f#@$k outa office
    He f#@$k up la;
    I mean look at these buses, I mean why you got three types of bus at one stop; Metro, Dash, and Rapid. LA will never be a get on the bus and train type town LA got a car culutre this aint NYC
    Then LAUSD building all these prison looking schools 50 schools in the next year, charter schools gonna take them outa the game.
    Then all these police 10,000 thats an army division, and they getting 70k a year, and all the high tech sh*% they got all you crazy
    And he was on TV begging Obama for money he dont got sh*% everything

    What is gonna happen is that white dude from Ecko Park who’s daddy was City Attorney during the OJ trial is gonna get elected. And budget cut all this bullsh*% police force too big and not responsible for drop in crime, too many damn buses, and LASUD gonna be without kids at there schools. I mean how can you promote them county jail looking schools there trying to build.

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