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    LB Mayor Foster, Police Chief Batts Attend Sac'to Anti-Gang Confab With Gov. Schwarzenegger

    (March 30, 2007) -- LB Mayor Bob Foster and LB Police Chief Anthony Batts were among Mayors, police officials and legislators from across the state who met in Sacramento on March 29 to discuss anti-gang efforts.

    Mayor Foster and Chief Batts are visible in the photo below at the table to the left.

    March 29/07 gang Sacto meeting
    Photo source: CA Governor's office has learned that the meeting discussed items including better coordination of existing anti-gang efforts...but AB 790 by LB Assemblywoman Betty Karnette (D., LB) -- that would make witness intimidation a mandatory felony and toughen penalties if the intimidation is done for gang-related purposes -- wasn't discussed.

    "Things didn't really get quite that specific," Mayor Foster indicated, noting his previously stated position that the legislation is an important element for the entire criminal justice system, not just regarding gangs.

    On March 20, LB City Hall went on record (via a City Council resolution requested March 13 by Councilmembers Patrick O'Donnell and Rae Gabelich) supporting AB 790. The LB Police Officers Ass'n supports the bill; the L.A. County District Attorney's office has indicated it's reviewing the legislation.

    Among those attending the Mar. 29 Sac'to anti-gang meeting alongside LB's Mayor and Police Chief were L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa along with the Mayors of Compton, Fresno, Oakland, Pico Rivera, Riverside, Sacramento, Salinas, San Bernardino, San Francisco, San Jose and Santa Ana. Police Chiefs or PD brass from the foregoing cities, plus Anaheim, Salinas, San Diego and Stockton, were also present.

    The Governor's office says Assemblymembers Todd Spitzer (R-Orange), Jose Solorio (D-Anaheim) and Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) also attended.

    In remarks preapared for delivery at the meeting, Gov. Schwarzenegger said in part:

    [W]ith as much brainpower and commitment to public service as this group has, I'm sure that we can make some real inroads [on the gang issue]. Because one thing I have learned is that we have to attack this together.

    All of you know what works best in your communities. But the state and federal government also have roles to play.

    That's why I am a big supporter of Senator Feinstein's bill that provides $1 billion for gang enforcement and prevention programs.

    And we need all the tools we can get.

    ...We need to attack this madness head-on, and we need to do it in a coordinated way.

    Because we all know what can happen. It's like a water balloon. You squeeze one end and have success fighting gangs in one city or one county, and the problem pops up one town or one county over.

    Fighting gangs requires a variety of strategies including suppression, intervention and prevention.

    We need the best technology and we need the best practices. And we need everyone on the same page so we don't create new problems as we solve old ones.

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