Los Angeles officials have promised more officers chasing the worst gang members, more school and community counselors, and more cooperation among agencies, says the New York Times. In the department's Harbor Division, far from the worst in gang crime but the focus of political and news media attention, officers have started joint patrols with other police agencies. An assistant district attorney has ridden with Officer Dan Robbins in an effort to broaden prosecutors' gang knowledge. Crucial to the effort are gang unit officers like Robbins, whose focus is tracking gangs operating in and near a 12-square-block collection of apartment houses and single-family homes in a narrow sliver of Los Angeles 20 miles from downtown.
Robbins, 36, has been on the force for 12 years. Los Angeles has been a model for other cities in gang enforcement. Police officials from across the U.S. and Latin America will gather here on Feb. 7 to share information and strategize. Chief William Bratton, visiting Washington this week, plans to meet with members of Congress and federal officials to advocate for more sharing of intelligence on gangs, terrorists and organized crime groups. With a reporter and photographer allowed to accompany him for several hours of his nearly 12-hour shift, Robbins offered a primer on the 204th Street gang.