But a comprehensive report says otherwise. Part of it is down to how cops score gang activity; they tend to be pretty liberal in how they code violence in general.
“It’s important to point out that we’re down hugely on gang shootings,” says Lane Borg, executive director of Metropolitan Public Defenders. “When you look at it 10 years ago compared to now, it’s really significantly down.”
Borg says the report’s message—while commissioned and produced by a council made up in part by police agencies—is inconvenient for law enforcement.
“I don’t know that we can say we have solved the problem,” Borg says. “If you want to keep focus on something, the last thing you need is a report that says things are getting better.”
Obviously, zero shootings and other forms of violence are the goals we'd all like to see met, but if the cops truly believed the claims they're making, one might expect them to prioritize their resources accordingly. They aren't:
In February, the Police Bureau's budget documents cited the need for restoring officers to the gang unit. But when it came to seeking more money, Reese instead chose to ask the City Council for $287,671 for four more traffic-safety officers on the night shift, $152,208 for an equity program manager, and $68,783 to cover compensation increases for commanding officers as called for in their latest bargaining agreement. (The cost to restore the two gang enforcement officers: $150,662.)
So as far as the Po-Po's concerned, they'd rather spend $152,208 on an "equity" bureaucrat than spend $150.5k to put two more cops on the street to fight gang activity.
What does that tell you?
As always seems to be the case in government, if given a choice between adding bureaucrats and using those resources to address specific issues, they'll go for the bureaucrat. Every. Damn. Time.