Los Angeles County's recently established Office of Violence Prevention drew praise today from Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore.
"I'm encouraged for the first time that the County of Los Angeles is establishing a means to identify resources that exist, gaps that need to be filled and coordinate the delivery of all those services to a county of more than 10 million people," Moore said at a news conference at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Public Health in the unincorporated Willowbrook area.
"I'm encouraged that this type of innovation is going to result in Angelenos getting the necessary treatment and services that will help reduce and eliminate this cycle of violence."
Moore said police officers are tasked with not just going after offenders, but working to prevent crime and protect victims, but they often lack "the resources to really help people recover from" violent tragedies.
The office will be dedicated to addressing "the root causes of violence, to prevent it from occurring," said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who authored the motion creating the office.
The announcement was planned months ago to commemorate National Public Health Week, but "took on new significance and urgency after the recent uptick in gun violence, including the recent shooting of Grammy-nominated rapper Nipsey Hussle," according to a statement from Ridley-Thomas' office.
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"Far too many people in L.A. County are being injured and killed whether by homicide, suicide or intimate partner violence," said Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
"This violence is preventable. It takes community voices and multi-sector collaboration to promote healing and address one of the most pressing public health issues of current times."