Attorney General William French Smith said the Justice department has an "early-warning system" to identify the potential for civil disturbances in cities this summer. The department's Community Relations Service has been alerted to "keep a finger on the pulse" of the nation, particularly in light of administration budget slashes.
The service was created by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to help communities resolve racial and ethnic disputes. It serves to defuse tension and open dialogue among parties.
Mr. Smith said no great alarms have gone off anywhere. but he added that the situation in Atlanta is "potentially inflammatory," as are situations in other areas, including Buffalo, where an army private has been indicted for the fatal shooting of three black men. 52900100027337 NOVEMBER 15, 1981