Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Despite cuts in police budgets, L.A. homicide rate keeps falling

TalkbackEarlier this year, there was concern that spending cuts made at the Los Angeles Police Department and L.A. County Sheriff's Department would hurt the agencies' crime-fighting efforts. But according to the Los Angeles Times' Joel Rubin and Robert Faturechi ("Killing in L.A. drops to 1967 levels"), the city of Los Angeles is set to record fewer than 300 killings for the first time in four decades.

Countywide, homicides have dropped significantly since 2007 -- the first year of the recession, which prompted the spending cuts:

Law enforcement officials say they worry that depleted resources and staffing shortages brought on by the fiscal crisis could erode their gains. The LAPD has had no money to pay officers for overtime. In lieu of being paid cash, officers have had to take compensatory time off from work. The plan has had the effect of cutting the force by the equivalent of about 500 officers. In the Sheriff's Department, deputies had to neglect regular assignments for several hours each month in order to carry out routine patrols and low-level administrative tasks. The reshuffling allowed the cash-strapped department to significantly cut overtime but drew grumblings from within the ranks.

Why do you think the number of killings continues to go down? Share your views here.

Comments () | Archives (11)

I wonder what role the "de facto" legalization of Marijuana has played?

I also wonder what might happen if we Legalize, Regulate and Tax all drugs, as it is obvious after the 30+ years of the War on Drugs, that Prohibition does not work, the way it's proponents say it does.

Community outreach conducted over the past 5-6 years from gang abatement programs instituted by former gang leaders who has committed themselves to be part of the solution instead of the problem continues to impact what happens on the streets in a manner that is incredible. Law enforcement has not been able to solve the problem or infiltrate these gangs to conquer them since the 70's when drugs sales through gangs hit the street. The police department now works hand in hand providing opportunities for the "gang counselors" if you will, to assist in resolving issues on the inside before things such as murder, retaliation, etc. takes effect. Hopefully, these unsung heroes who were once the villians will get the credit and recognition that is deserved for turning their lives around. Even though they created the problem, the police did encourage it by laying back or sometimes insighting warfare to keep fear in the neighborhoods to raise taxes and provide jobs for their own department. Sad but true.

In his book "Freakonomics," the author makes a good argument that falling murder (and other violent crime) rates closely follow the declining number of young males growing up in low-income dysfunctional family situations, and that this decline is a direct result of legalized abortions. It's a scary disgusting thing to believe, but statistics are of his side.

wouldn't a better measurement be per 100,000 of population? When you account for population growth, the change is even more impressive.

No doubt the three strikes law has helped a lot.

But its politically incorrect to say the obvious.

Got to love the 2nd Amendment, especially since several U.S. District Courts and the Supremes have ruled that the public does not have a constitutional right to police protection. Here are the cases. Read em or weep!

•Hartzler v. City of San Jose, 46 Cal. App. 3d 6 (1st Dist. 1975).
•Riss v. New York, 240 N.E.2d 860 (N.Y. 1968)
•Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. Ct. of Ap., 1981).
•DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services (109 S.Ct. 998, 1989).
•Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 US 748 - 2005

There can be no clearer example of the need to keep and bear arms than this story of a women alone in her home in Oklahoma back on September 22, 2010.


Government agencies, the justice system and special interest groups continue to pound home the concept that people must take responsibility for their actions, yet they increasing are draining billions of dollars from taxpayer pockets while railing against the most effective constitutional right to do so when it comes down to the issue of our own security.

Think of the money we taxpayers could save if we faced reality and took responsibility for our own protection, instead of funding public safety programs. Cops and the Justice System don't protect folks, they simply create the illusion of safety by making wimps and whiners "feel safe."
If the wimps and whiners among us, who fall in line, flock to and congregate in communities where property and sales taxes increasingly increase, as positions and payrolls for prosecutors, judges, court houses, prisons, skyrocket, "we the people" could save huge amounts of money so our dependence on government and its associated costs would decrease.
Across the nation as cities, counties and states budget deficits increase, thousands of cops are being laid off, people are going to have their delusional bubble popped and realize that only you can assure your own and your families safety from the murders, robbers, rapists, pedophiles and con artists. among us. Now that is freedom!

2. http://celebrifi.com/gossip/80-Oakland-cops-laid-off-after-no-deal-is-reached-3573546.html
4. http://www.oliverwillis.com/2009/03/06/cops-being-laid-off-in-boston-but-remember-we-cant-possibly-increase-taxes/

Hmmmm, it sounds like maybe people are trying to take their neighborhoods back. I would really like to know what the race ratio is on the murders. I'm curious as to who is killing who? Down here in OC it seems to be a lot of latinos. Does anyone know if the study went that deep? Or was it too un-pc?

One of the most compelling arguments I have read is the drop in lead (Pb) body burden. Rick Nevin has shown this correlation at the societal level. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/07/AR2007070701073.html

Dr. Bruce Lanphear has shown this correlation between lead in young children and crime as young adults in peer-reviewed research.

Lead is a really potent neurotoxin, so it makes sense that it inhibits our self-control. My father-in-law was a physician who worked with criminals and often reflected that their impulse control reflected that of a toddler more than the grown adults that they were. It simply all adds up. Lead is a killer.

Unfortunately, the lead body burden doesn't bode well for Mexico. I think violent crime trends there will continue to rise. I know they phased out lead in gasoline much later than we Americans did.

While I admit I haven't read through the (currently) almost 80 comments on the linked main story, I have to say that earlier tonight when the channel 4 news reported on this story I said to my wife "yeah, but 1992 was the year of the riots, of course there were more homicides." I totally applaud what the police and community activists have done, and hope the rate continues to go down, but I'm curious as to what the highest ***non-riot-year*** rate is. Yes, I know, Google is my friend...

The second highest number of homicides in the city of Los Angeles was in 1980 when the LAPD reported 1,082. That year was actually higher per capita than 1992. The chart above shows the raw number of homicides in the city of Los Angeles, dating back to 1939, including the total for 1980. For a larger version of the map and chart go to: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-la-crime.eps-20101227,0,2697231.graphic and for a chart showing the per capita rate over the decades visit: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-la-crime-chart.eps-20101227,0,543868.graphic

@Megan Garvey: very interesting, thanks for the info!


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: