L.A. Murders Drop to 1967 Levels
KTLA News | December 26, 2010
LOS ANGELES — The city of Los Angeles is on track to end the year with fewer than 300 murders for the first time in 40 years.
As of mid-afternoon on Sunday, the Los Angeles Police Department had tallied 291 homicides in 2010. The city is likely to record the fewest number of killings since 1967, when its population was almost 30% smaller.
Strikingly, homicides in the city have dropped by about one-third since 2007, the last full year before the economic downturn, according to a Times’ analysis of coroner records.
Throughout the rest of the county, which is patrolled by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept. and individual cities’ police departments, homicides during the same period tumbled by nearly 40%.
The Times’ analysis showed 159 homicides in areas patrolled by the Sheriff’s Department and 164 in the rest of the county through mid-December.
The city’s total translates into roughly 7.5 killings per 100,000 people and puts it in league with New York City and Phoenix as having among the lowest homicide rates among major U.S. cities.
How much further the rates could drop is unknown. In Los Angeles city and county gangs play a major role in many homicides.
Gang-related homicides account for about half of all killings here, law enforcement officials and researchers estimate.
And although there are few things police can do to lower the number of killings that arise from domestic abuse incidents, hit-and-run accidents and other isolated situations, shootings that stem from gang rivalries and initiation rites can be cut with targeted strategies, gang experts believe.
Tags: gang murder, homicide rate, Los Angeles, targeted strategies