Gascón’s new plan for handling L.A. County gang crime draws confusion, criticism

Local news
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon speaks during a new conference on Dec. 9, 2014. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon speaks during a new conference on Dec. 9, 2014. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón says he’s going to fundamentally change the way the largest prosecutor’s office in the nation handles gang crime.

After weeks of rumors that he would eliminate the office’s Hardcore Gang unit — long a treasured spot for veteran prosecutors hoping to take on some of the most violent crimes in Southern California — Gascón finally confirmed Tuesday the unit would be reduced in size, renamed and reorganized.

The new Community Violence Reduction Division will “integrate the most serious gang crimes and most prolific violent offenders with prevention, intervention and community involvement efforts,” according to a copy of an internal memo reviewed by The Times. The new unit will have 26 prosecutors, as opposed to the 40 who staffed the prior unit, officials said.

Prosecutors assigned to the new unit will focus on areas that the Los Angeles Police Department has determined to be “violence prone,” starting with the Foothill, 77th Street and Newton divisions, according to the memo and a news release Gascón issued Tuesday.

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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