Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced today a reorganization that aims to decrease violence across Los Angeles County by collaborating with law enforcement agencies, public health and community leaders and other stakeholders to improve public safety.
“By embedding our prosecutors in the communities that we serve, we will be able to get better results reducing and preventing crime by working with all of our community, county and law enforcement partners,” District Attorney Gascón said. “This community-first model will eventually be used throughout Los Angeles County to ensure our approach is reflective of the particular needs of individual communities.”
The office’s new Community Violence Reduction Division will be comprised of experienced prosecutors who will collaborate with Los Angeles Police Department in some of the most challenged areas. They will be assigned to three LAPD Divisions – 77th, Foothill and Newton – to investigate and prosecute the most troubling incidents of street violence. The division also will seek to proactively prevent crime by working with community-based organizations and with county partners that deal with victim services, public health and violence prevention. The division previously was known as the Hardcore Gang Division.
“The goal of these efforts is to treat community violence through a collaborative public health approach,” District Attorney Gascón said. “We hope to end the cycle of generational violence and prevent victims from being repeatedly traumatized.”
Additionally, District Attorney Gascón has shifted resources to establish a Community Violence Prosecution Coordinator Program that will serve each of the county’s branch courts and central trial offices.
Prosecutors assigned to the program will evaluate, file and try violent crimes not handled by the CVR Division. They also will mentor and train less experienced deputy district attorneys who have expressed interest in prosecuting these types of cases.
“I want to thank two of our office’s directors, Larry Droeger and Maria Ramirez, for their hard work and diligence in coming up with this approach,” District Attorney Gascón said. “Our goal is to significantly reduce the rising violence in our communities and to provide timely and much-needed resources to crime victims. Together, we can make lasting changes that will dramatically improve our lives.”