Friday, December 03, 2004

What began as a trickle of neighborhoods expanding out of Los Angeles has become something of a flood that now reaches from ocean to ocean. It started logically enough with colonies in Nevada and Arizona. And as posted here, there's a growing presence in places like Idaho and Utah. The wave has apparently hit the East Coast with enough force that two congressmen have written a bill to build some flood control measures.

Rep. FRANK R. WOLF and Rep. THOMAS M. DAVIS, both Virginia Republicans have gotten Congress to approves $48.6 million for regional law enforcement task forces (mostly in Virginia) and to create an FBI NATIONAL GANG INTELLIGENCE CENTER. The FBI Center will cost $10 million and will put up to 80 agents and analysts to work monitoring interstate gang activity. It's no accident that the bill's authors are from Virginia. In the past few years, that state has had a significant spike in gang activity and some celebrated gang murders, the kind we see almost every day in LA but rare for Virginia. So rare that the County Mounties had to send faxes and jpegs to their brother cops on the West Coast to figure out what all the placasos and the tattoos meant.

It's interesting that it only took a handful of homicides in Virginia to energize their congressmen to take some big measures. California's gang homicides, probably the highest in the country, have apparently never prompted our congresspeople to do anything quite this ambitious. We've built a lot of jails, of course, we've got the Metropolitan Task Force on Violent Crime (yeah it's still operational and run out the Federal building on Sepulveda and the 405) and we've got some savvy gang cops, but for some reason, State LE and politicians never took that ultimate step to feed all that information into an FBI database and share it with the rest of the country.

The lag time between appropriating the money and going operational could go on for months, if not years. So West Coast homies planning flag-raising missions to the East have a fairly big window of opportunity before the BIG EYE of the Federales is upon you.

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