NEIGHBORHOOD PROSECUTOR PROGRAM
Neighborhood Prosecutors are stationed in each of the 19 police divisions across the City, bringing them closest to where they are needed. Whether it is the formation of the Illegal Street Racing Task Force, which has fined and/or jailed more than 800 people, impounded more than 100 cars and significantly reduced illegal street racing in the San Fernando Valley; the implementation of the Figueroa Corridor Project, which has resulted in a 65 percent decrease in prostitution-related crimes in a section of South Los Angeles; or the closing of four nuisance bars accused of supporting gang activity, drug dealing, underage drinking, noise and vandalism in the Hollenbeck area, Neighborhood Prosecutors work to find innovative solutions to long-standing neighborhood problems.
A perfect example of the effectiveness of this innovative work can be seen in the renaissance of MacArthur Park. For nearly two decades, MacArthur Park and its surrounding neighborhood suffered from neglect, crime and social disorder. Narcotics sales, prostitution, gambling and public intoxication plagued the park. In 2002, Neighborhood Prosecutors, in collaboration with the Los Angeles Police Department and local neighborhood groups, undertook an effort to restore the park. By establishing a zero tolerance policy toward crime and leveraging existing public, private and community resources, City prosecutors were able to aggressively target and enforce the criminal offenses in and around the park. This effort has led to reductions in both violent crime and property crime. The park has been reclaimed by families, new businesses have sprung up around the park and property values have increased.
How it Works
The program focuses on fighting the most corrosive crimes for communities: drug sales, prostitution, illegal dumping, graffiti, and street racing. Operating under the "brokens windows" theory, Neighborhood Prosecutors aim to identify, prioritize, and address these criminal problems before they grow into more serious offenses that can lead to urban decay in our communities. City prosecutors understand that the ability to respond to neighborhood complaints and address criminal problems proactively is critical to improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods.
Why it Matters
The power of Los Angeles lies in its diversity. Along with an array of cultures, varied geography, architecture and histories shape this vibrant, creative community of communities. Each neighborhood has its own rhythm, its own sources of pride and its own concerns.
The City Attorney's Office is charged with making our neighborhoods safer for our residents. Prosecutors and law enforcement officers throughout the criminal justice system agree that when minor acts of civic disorder continue unchecked, a corresponding increase in serious crime inevitably occurs. By taking City prosecutors out of City Hall and stationing then in the neighborhoods they serve, the City Attorney's Office is able to better accomplish this goal.