Twenty-two people had been killed in Compton, Ca., this time last year, in the midst of a yearlong wave of gang violence. So far this year, the city has recorded three homicides, reports the Los Angeles Times. One difference is that Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca has doubled the number of deputies, detectives, and other personnel in the city. “Will resources eventually be removed from Compton? Yes, they will. But I am not going to advertise it to gang members,” said Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Ford.
Compton pays the county about $14 million a year for about 78 deputies, having disbanded its own force in 2000. Some in Compton worry that crime will rise again when the police presence recedes. Baca is up for reelection in June; even his strongest detractors agree the heavy police presence is yielding big results in a city that saw 72 homicides last year, the most in nearly a decade. In addition to the drop in homicides, gang-related weapon assaults are down about 50 percent from last year.