IN THE VIEW OF WILLIE WILLIAMS

L.A. Gangs:

"Los Angeles gangs are like no other gangs in any other US city - in sheer numbers, level of violence, and in the manner [in which] they control different areas of the city by fear. There is a gang truce for the moment between the Crips and the Bloods, but only in some areas. And the truce does not include Hispanic gangs or against victims outside of gangs where crime figures are rising....

"People ask me if I have the solution and I tell them, `No'. We are going to examine what has been done to date, what did and didn't work with the people in the community, and try to come up with different solutions." Policing in the '90s:

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"The police department is the largest social-service agency in the city in addressing noncriminal needs on a seven-day, 24-hour basis. Recessionary budget cuts across the board impact policing at every level - more welfare and homeless people on the street, fewer parks and recreation, fewer health services, abandoned vehicles, and all the rest. All these add to the number of police calls, levels of expectation, and stress level." LAPD staffing levels:

"The city has over twice the population of Philadelphia, but only a little over half the officers per thousand population - and that's on paper. The city budget only pays 30 percent of overtime, so at any given time I have 400 officers out, not including vacations and sick leave. That's the size of one large division."

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