SOUTH LOS ANGELES (FOX 11) - By Hal Eisner
Inside LAPD's 77th Division are the offices for South Bureau. And, inside South Bureau is a conference room that's been converted into a command post to deal with the ever-growing gang violence in South LA.
Mayor Garcetti and Chief Beck have both said this is gang-on-gang violence the city has been facing. It's not a gang war according to Lt. Juan Gonzalez, but regardless of why the statistics are increasing, it's not what the department would like to see.
Captain Jeff Bert says there have been 39 murders city-wide in LA from January to August. Approximately 17 have been in South LA and Bert says of those 17, "14 of those were gang homicides."
"It's over our average," he added. "Last year we had 19. The year before 19 in August."
So, the Los Angeles Police Department has increased patrols this holiday weekend and are deploying them based on need from a command post on the first floor of 77th Division.
Just in the last couple of days, three male Hispanics were shot and injured at 79th and Central. Another shooting happened in the 100 block of E. Myrrh in Compton.
And, in a third incident, a man was shot dead at 71st and Central.
At the command post inside 77th Division, the walls are covered in maps. Radio chatter fills the air. There are sounds of dispatchers saying things like "Normandy and Adams. Suspect is male black. 51 years."
The job here is to keep tabs on the gang violence and figure out how to stay ahead of it.
Gonzalez says he is not particularly looking high or low visibility, but wants to "strategically deploy units."
"We don't want a community that are run by patrol cars where they feel it's an army there," Gonzalez added.
He is very concerned about how locals perceive the angst-provoking situation. And, there is reaction.
"It's horrible. It's horrible," says Christian Rubio whose friend was shot in one of those incidents.
Meanwhile, others told us "it's very scary" and more than one said they're looking over the shoulder more than they used to.