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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Friday, August 8, 2008

Sacramento Hails Drop In Murdered Teens, Progress Vs. Gangs

The streets of Sacramento are claiming fewer young people.

In what authorities say may be a fragile sign of progress, fewer Sacramento County teenagers have been slain in 2008 than in any year going back at least a decade.

And the promising signs do not end there. According to Sacramento police and the county Sheriff's Department, the number of teenage shooting victims is down by about one-third over last year.

In the area's two largest law enforcement jurisdictions – the city of Sacramento and the neighborhoods of Sacramento County patrolled by the Sheriff's Department – the drop may be the residual effect of increased prevention efforts and a shift toward more aggressive anti-gang tactics used by law enforcement, officials said.

Other police agencies across the region reported little or no change in their already low levels of youths involved in violent crime but said efforts to engage young people – especially in schools and those arrested for low-level crimes – are working.

"We're doing something right, and I think it's not just one thing," Sacramento Police Chief Rick Braziel said. [Mark Godsey]

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