Saturday, August 05, 2006

Oh, boy. Here we go again. After a study by Connie Rice's nonprofit group, The Advancement Group, (yeah, she's cousin to the other Connie Rice that's running the State Department), our city leaders are once again dragging that tired old beast - a Gang Czar - out of the attic and hooking him (or her) up to Dr. Frankenstein's re-animation surgery table. Yeah, it's deja vu all over again.

After a very long study Rice's group came to the conclusion that gang intervention efforts (as opposed to LE gang suppression efforts) are (trumpet flourish) too scattered and totally lacking in oversight. Did we really need a study to tell us that? Back in November of 2005, Tony Cardenas came to that conclusion. And years before that during the Riordan years, any number of civil servants came to the same conclusion. They held a few meetings, threw some ideas around about a gang Czar, couldn't figure out how to appease all the special interests and then they went home. And years before that, we heard -- well, you get the drift.

So here we go again. The last time around we heard that after spending $26 million dollars on intervention, no one was able to produce a single homie who was diverted away from his neighborhood and put on the straight and narrow. That was Cardenas' conclusion.

Well, guess what? The same people who couldn't produce a single body after pounding $26 million down a rat hole will probably be brought on board to craft new ways of spending even more money. This time, however, a figurehead will be installed to take all the blame when programs fail and kids continue to drop out of school.

Here's a suggestion. Appoint Connie Rice as the gang Czar. Give her five years and all the money she asks for. If she can't show results verified by the same people that are monitoring the LAPD's consent decree, pull the plug and forget about a gang Czar forever.