Getting out of the Hood is hard
South Central has always had one of the largest crime rates in the Los Angeles County area. But over the last five years, the crime rate has gone down. The last gang related shooting was in April 2009.
The area is controlled and patrolled by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff. There is a lot of racial profiling. Women are often labeled prostitutes and black males have it the hardest. Most people look at the neighborhood as scum and people are guilty mainly because of association.
Athens Park, located in the area, is one of the most popular spots. Detective Gomez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office says that Athens Park is an unincorporated part of LA County and must be handled by the LA County Sheriff. Detective Gutierrez, who patrols the park, says that it is either just kids playing in the park or there is gang related activity.
Detective Gomez, who has been with the Sheriff’s office for 11 years says that “about 90 percent of the people in the neighborhood like the Sheriff’s and the other ten percent that don’t like us because they are involved in some sort of criminal activity.” Detective Gutierrez, who has been with the LA County Sheriff’s office for 15 years, says that “making contact is good, so no arrests or tickets are given out, but other times, it is necessary to make an arrest or give a ticket. It’s really a judgment call.” He says that “safety is the number one thing. Gang members often have violent tendencies. They could be carrying firearms anytime so ensuring that civilians are not in danger is a must.”
Although the crime rate has gone down, the neighborhood is still looked down on. If you live in the area, it’s because it is hard to leave, and the only way to leave is to move out of the area or get locked up.