Los Angeles officials are aiming at a 20 percent drop in homicides this year. Murders dropped by more than that in 2003. Police Chief William Bratton and Mayor James Hahn will discuss their anticrime plan today with community leaders, says the Los Angeles Times.
Bratton predicted last year that he could reduce homicides by 25 percent and violent crime overall by 10 percent. He withdrew those goals when the City Council rejected his request for 320 more officers. Bratton overhauled the command structure, required detectives to work nights and weekends when most crimes occur, and made attacking gang violence a priority. One official said that this year, the department will revise the way it handles radio calls and seek new technology such as cameras and computer software to search a suspect’s criminal background and prioritize investigations based on solvability.
Using methods developed by the National Institute of Justice, police officials said the homicide decrease from 658 in 2002 to 506 last year saved about $462 million, including hospital costs and police and fire response.