LAPD adds 30 officers to USC area after student slayings
Thirty more Los Angeles police officers will be assigned to patrol the area around USC after two students were fatally shot and four were robbed at gunpoint in separate incidents near campus, USC and LAPD officials announced Thursday.
The officers will be added to the Southwest division, which includes USC, said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, who was joined at a news conference by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and USC President C.L. Max Nikias.
Four officers will be assigned specifically to neighborhoods bordering USC.
A city prosecutor will be assigned to the area, more frequent parole checks will be conducted on local gang members and additional security cameras will be installed.
Last week, a campus police officer shot and wounded a man suspected of robbing four students at gunpoint as they walked along the university's fraternity row about 12:30 a.m. The students were not injured.
That incident came a week after two students were shot and killed April 11. Ming Qu and Ying Wu were both 23-year-old electrical engineering graduate students from China.
Both episodes have raised concerns about the safety of neighborhoods that were once viewed as having improved.
"These safety enhancement initiatives complement steps that will be implemented by the city of Los Angeles and the LAPD. The LAPD will increase the use of the latest cutting-edge tools to combat crime in the Southwest division, which includes USC," said Nikias in a statement.
"Further, the LAPD has committed additional dedicated patrol cars to the area surrounding the University Park campus, and will increase data sharing between DPS [Department of Public Safety] and the LAPD," he added. "Working with the city, USC will trim trees to reduce the blockage of existing street lighting, and will significantly improve street lighting in key areas."
-- Stephen Ceasar
Photo: LAPD detectives search the scene where two USC students were shot dead April 11. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times