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Crime in LA Down in 2007

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The City of Los Angeles in 2007 saw a 5% drop in serious crimes, bringing the number of homicides down to the lowest it's been in 37 years. The LA Times reports that, "The Watts area alone last year saw a nearly 50% drop in homicides, according to LAPD crime statistics."

The Times goes on to report that LAPD Chief William J. Bratton claims that this drop can be attributed to police officers doing their job well:

"It's not demographics, it's not the economy, it's not the weather," Bratton said. "What makes a difference is cops focused on crime -- cops who believe they can make a difference."
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According to Bratton, the continued decrease in crime will be contingent upon LAPD not taking any cuts in staff or funding. This can be accomplished, he claims, by taxpayers votying in favor of a February ballot measure which would extend a telephone utility users tax.

"It's going to be very dependent on these budget issues," Bratton told the LA Times. "If the city were to lose that approximately $250 million, all bets are off as to what's going to happen to this city."

The controversial tax measure is supported by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, but, by and large, there is heavy skepticism about it all around..

Photo bysean dreilinger via Flickr