Los Angeles Uses Multi-Pronged Approach To Reduce Gang Violence

Candice Ludlow (WKNO) | December 22, 2011

Some of the more notorious gangs originated in Los Angeles, like the Crips and Bloods. L.A. has a long history of gangs and gang violence, and some of the gangs from L.A. have taken hold in Memphis. Over the last couple of years, though, Los Angeles has had some success in reducing the number of violent acts committed by gangs.

Guillermo Cespedes is the Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles. He heads the city’s gang intervention program. He’s worked four decades fighting gang violence, first as a social worker, and since 2007 as the Deputy Mayor.

Last year was the first year since the 1960s that there were fewer than 300 homicides in Los Angeles. Cespedes says they’ve reduced violence in the most violent neighborhoods by 16 percent. As each gang-related homicide costs the city around $1.2 million, reducing violence through community programs is a cost-saver in the long-run.

Summer is the most violent in some parts of Los Angeles, so the city opens its recreational facilities that are located in some of the most dangerous areas each night from seven to midnight. The entire community is invited. Toddlers to elders participate, as well as gang members. Cespedes says the goal is for people to engage in activities that are not gang related. They serve food and provide activities for everyone, with gang intervention workers and police present. And, in the neighborhoods that they’ve opened the community centers, they’ve seen a 57 percent reduction in homicide. Other violent felonies have been reduced by 40 percent. Cespedes says he sees this strategy as a “giant community inoculation strategy.”

Read more at: http://www.wknofm.org/post/los-angeles-uses-multi-pronged-approach-reduce-gang-violence

Photo credit: Michal Czerwonka / The New York Times

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1 Comment for “Los Angeles Uses Multi-Pronged Approach To Reduce Gang Violence”


    la is the gang capital

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