wow, that is a lot of money...
I wonder if any of the programs will include personal responsibility and common sense lessons?
Apr 18, 2007 5:57 pm US/Pacific
Mayor Gives State Of The City Address, Talks Gangs
Villaraigosa Says He Will Appoint 'Czar' To Combat Violence
(AP) NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. Saying too many youths have been killed on the streets of Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he will appoint a gang czar to oversee a $168 million effort to prevent gang violence and provide youth programs.
During his State of the City address, Villaraigosa called on the governor and state Legislature to allocate $30 million to help expand the Homeboy Industries job-placement program citywide to give the city's youth an alternative to gang life.
He also said his proposed gang-prevention and intervention programs would target eight so-called "gang reduction zones."
Villaraigosa did not say where those reduction zones are, but he said they were selected based on an assessment of gang activity, crime rate, test scores, truancy rate, dropout statistics and conditions of joblessness and
"We won't just flood the zone with police," he said during his speech at East Valley High School. "Working with community and faith-based organizations, we will also saturate these neighborhoods with services, providing young people with a pathway out."
Those programs will include after-school programs, parenting classes, counseling services, drop-out prevention, gang-awareness training, tattoo removal, prisoner re-entry and job placement programs, he said.
Villaraigosa's appointment of a gang czar, who will be named in the next few days, comes three months after a study by the Advancement Project found that the city's gang prevention and intervention programs lack accountability
and should come under the direction of a single director to be effective.
The announcement marks the second stage of Villaraigosa's effort to crack down on gangs citywide.
Villaraigosa and police Chief William Bratton announced the first stage of their anti-gang strategy on Feb. 8, targeting the city's 11 most violent street gangs and creating a "most wanted list" of gang members.
There are about 720 street gangs with nearly 40,000 members in Los Angeles. Gang violence in Los Angeles increased by 14 percent in 2006, despite a citywide decrease in crime for the last five years.
Of the 478 homicides reported in Los Angeles last year, about 56 percent were gang-related, according to police. Most of the gang-related killing were reported in the eastern San Fernando Valley, the city's Eastside, South Los Angeles and the Harbor-Gateway area.
Sheriff Harry Lee could solve their gang problem like he did the Neutria problem and it wouldn't cost any 168 million dollars either.
Give me a gun truck, wireless Internet, a web cam slaved to the sights on all the guns, and some good remote control software. We'll need a driver and possibly a loader/ tech guy in the back to keep the guns fed. We'll sell time slots on the guns over the 'net for all the armchair commandos and make a mint!!!