After Years Of Violence, L.A.’s Watts Sees Crime Subside

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Watts Towers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Kirk Siegler

On most weeknights, in the middle of his shift, Los Angeles police officer Keith Mott trades his gun and uniform for a T-shirt and shorts and heads to a park in the Watts neighborhood of South Los Angeles. He’s there to coach seven- and eight-year-old boys on the Pop Warner Pee Wee football team, the Watts Bears. The kids come from three nearby housing projects: Jordan Downs, Nickerson Gardens and Imperial Courts. The park was carefully chosen. It’s a neutral site for local gangs. Otherwise, most of the Bears’ parents wouldn’t allow them to come and play. Since the 1960s, the Watts neighborhood of South Los Angeles has been synonymous with gang violence and racial tension. Combative relations between police and members of the community have long been the norm. Lately, there’s been some improvement. Violent crime has dropped by almost 50 percent in three of Watts’ toughest housing projects. There’s been only one homicide there in the past two years. It’s a dramatic turnaround — one that’s explained in part by proactive efforts by community leaders and changes within the Los Angeles Police Department. “Even some of the parents who have come out here … they’ve talked to us, and they’ve told us, ‘You know, the idea of me standing next to a police officer, [after]%

Read More After Years Of Violence, L.A.’s Watts Sees Crime Subside : Code Switch : NPR.

About The Soul Brother

An observer to the world. I have a unique view of the world and want to share it. It's all in love from the people of the "blues". Love, Knowledge, and Sharing amongst all is the first steps towards solving all the problems amongst humanity.
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