Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Summer Night Lights Prove Huge Success

Yesterday, I was proud to announce that the Summer Night Lights program had it most successful season yet, resulting in dramatic reductions in gang-related crime. Over 710,000 youth participated, nearly triple the number from last year. Communities around the participating park and recreation centers saw a 40% drop in gang-related crime, a 57% reduction in gang-related homicides, a 55% reduction in the number of shots fired, and a 45% reduction in the number of victims shot. The program also expanded to eight new sites this year, including the Lake Street Community Center in our district.

I am in awe of how this program has grown. Just four years ago, after a 16-year-old girl in Glassell Park was tragically shot, I worked with the community to come up with a way to head off a long, hot and violent summer. We developed at the Glassell Park Recreation Center what was called “At the Park After Dark.”

Our program went city-wide in 2007 and has been embraced as a national model in combating gang-violence. Though there is still more work to do, I am proud of the enormous strides we have made, resulting in the safest summer in Los Angeles in decades.