It is my philosophy that we attack gangs on two levels. We cut the leadership head off and remove them from the community while we beleaguer and attack the body and legs of the creature.
Director of one of the nation's largest police gang units, quoted in C.Q. Researcher, October 11, 1991, p. 760
In the mid- 1980s, a senior official of the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) announced that the Los Angeles model of gang control had been selected as the prototype for gang programs nationally. Given what I knew of this "LA model" and the shape of the increasingly terrible gang homicide pattern in Los Angeles, I sought to dissuade the OJJDP from its plan.
My counterargument was three pronged. First, was it going to fund a set of programs nationwide based on a "model" associated with the largest and most rapid increase in street gang violence ever experienced? Second, had it read and considered the implications of research that seriously called into question the gang-crack sales connection that was used locally to justify the model? Third, had it seen any results in Los Angeles in terms of planning, program development, or actual coordination? Or alternatively, had the OJJDP (1) bought the LAPD's claims about suppression effects without seeking evidence, (2) ignored the presence of research about the gang-crack connection, and (3) overlooked the increasing levels of gang violence?
The result of our discussion was that the OJJDP's plan for gangs was put on hold as it was determined that the "LA model' was not a model at all but a collection of relatively uncoordinated suppression activities by different agencies, with unknown results. I have never