Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Second Safest Big City in America... Los Angeles. That was the overwhelming lesson of the Compstat session I attended today with Mayor Villaraigosa, Councilmember Jack Weiss, and, of course, Chief Bratton.

The 14% drop in crime we announced today means six hundred robberies weren't committed. It means one hundred fewer rapes. It means thirty individuals were at home over the holidays, not lost to homicides. It means that thousands more men, women and children lived freer lives in Los Angeles, breathing hope and not burdened by fear.

And it means that the LAPD is doing an outstanding job.

They are communicating their work better than ever as well. You can see for yourself how they are doing, neighborhood by neighborhood, at their statistics page. Download your part of the city from the pull-down window. Soon they will be complementing that information with block-by-block crime maps, giving neighbors a very complete sense of where crime is--and where it isn't anymore.

At Compstat, the chief and his leadership team ask captains from every part of the city to use a simple framework for their analysis (you can read it behind Captain Perez in the picture):

What's working...why?
What's not working...why?
If it's not working, how do we or should we fix it?
What new strategies should be implemented?

And step by step, they address the fear and violence that we battle in our neighborhoods.

I was particularly interested in hearing the Compstat for Northeast Division. As many of you know, there have been five attempted murders and two homicides in Echo Park in December and January. I have been in constant contact with Northeast Division about this flare-up in gang violence, and while I've been asked not to share some of that information publicly, I do want to let you know that they have made substantial progress on these cases. (For a more in-depth account, please see the letter I wrote to the Echo Elysian newsgroup.) And be assured that I continue my commitment to establishing enduring safety in our neighborhoods through:

  • working with Chief Bratton and our budget process to develop the capacity and funding to hire more officers
  • continuing to press for more gang intervention teams, both in Echo Park right now and as part of all public safety expansions
  • promoting the work of the Ad Hoc Committee on Youth and Gang Violence, chaired by my colleague Tony Cardena
  • looking at the model used in Chicago, where any homicide is treated as a public health emergency.