News Releases

June 30, 2021: District Attorney Gascón, LAPD Chief Moore, Community Leaders Address Efforts to Reduce Community Violence

Greg Risling, Assistant Media Chief
(213) 257-2000

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón was joined today by Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore and community leaders to discuss community violence reduction efforts in four Los Angeles neighborhoods.

Since the beginning of 2020, violent crime has increased nationwide, including in Los Angeles. District Attorney Gascón has pledged to embed prosecutors and investigators at four LAPD divisions – 77th, Foothill, Mission and Newton – with the goal of making our communities safer.

“Public safety strategies have traditionally been reactive and reactionary, instead of proactive and preventative,” District Attorney Gascón said. “We will be taking a much more proactive role to intervene and to prevent crime, both through a law enforcement lens and also through a community and public health lens.” 

“The Los Angeles Police Department welcomes the innovate approach by District Attorney George Gascón to assign prosecutors to specific divisions in order to collaborate with our detective personnel as we strive to disrupt violence, proactively prevent victimization, and protect communities across the city,” said LAPD Chief Moore. 

"It is imperative our youth in contact with the justice system be treated with trauma-informed care," said Sam Lewis, Executive Director of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC). "The opportunity for interventions that provide care and guardianship are crucial to the health and safety of young people and we are grateful to DA Gascón's office for prioritizing trauma-informed responses in our community." 

“Today we begin the historic journey of reimagining public safety with the community as a driving force,” said Skipp Townsend, founder and chief executive officer of 2nd Call, a violence intervention nonprofit organization. 

"The effort has to be grounded in and geared toward not creating another system of corrections, whether it's in the public arena or it's based on systemic and institutional structure,” said Tim Kornegay, LA Voice community organizer and California director of Live-Free Coalition. “But a system created based on healing, cultural competence, understanding and undoing the conditions that give birth to the kind of epidemic and generational violence we've been dealing with for half a century."

In April, District Attorney Gascón announced a reorganization that included the office’s new Community Violence Reduction Division. Prosecutors and investigators from the District Attorney’s Office will collaborate with LAPD officers to investigate and prosecute the most troubling incidents of street violence.

Over the past few months, prosecutors and investigators have laid the groundwork for this innovative strategy. They have been connecting with the community by familiarizing themselves with the areas they serve and the organizations that are represented.

The proactive approach has been applauded by civic and community leaders who have long seen the same reactive efforts by law enforcement but are now encouraged that violence reduction is being treated differently.

“We know that violence is a public health issue as well and we know that law enforcement cannot take this on alone,” District Attorney Gascón said. “We know that the community-based organizations and violence interrupters are truly vital to meaningfully reduce the violence.”

District Attorney Gascón hopes the work at the four LAPD stations will lead to a drop in violent crime this year and he has plans to expand the program to other parts of the county.