LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles has experienced more than double the number of homicides during the first 12 days of 2021 than during the same period of 2020, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said.
Moore reported on Tuesday a total of 19 homicides so far this year, including a teenage boy who was killed in the San Fernando Valley last night and three men who were killed in South Los Angeles within six hours of each other on Sunday.
The city had nine homicides during the same period in 2020.
"Shooting violence has continued at a velocity that does need a great deal of concern," Moore said during Tuesday's Los Angeles Police Commission meeting. "Of the 19 homicides, 12 we know, right now, we believe are involved in gangs or are gang-related in one fashion or another."
Moore said he spoke with gang intervention specialists working in the South Los Angeles and Hollenbeck areas to try to find strategies to curb the violence.
Suggestions included increasing training for gang interventionists, adding staffing with support from Mayor Eric Garcetti's office and ensuring that new interventionists and ambassadors are familiar with Los Angeles Police
Department officers so they can coordinate their effort to reduce violence.
Interventionist staffing has been impacted by the pandemic, as well. Moore said the department is going to work to provide them with additional COVID-19 rapid tests so they don't have to wait to get their results, impacting their ability to work in the field.
Moore added that the department is concerned about "a number of individuals that are on high-risk probation" and may be contributing to the increase in violence. He said that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the ability of probation officers to supervise people on probation, and law enforcement officers may have to step in to provide added supervision.