Audit, Schmaudit! Spend The $178 Million Per Year On Police, Not “Gang Programs!”

Walter Moore writes July 8:

Today the Los Angeles City Council authorized an expenditure of $500,000 of your money to “audit and gauge the effectiveness of” dozens of so-called “anti-gang” programs on which they already spend $178 million of your money each year.

Shouldn’t Mayor Villaraigosa and the City Council have determined whether the programs worked before spending millions of your money on them? You know, maybe start out with, say, $10,000 and work up to $178 million? And shouldn’t the people running the programs have the burden of proving the programs are worthwhile?

Anyhow, I’ve performed my own “audit”—which took about 10 minutes—and have determined that we should immediately stop giving that $178 million per year to “gang programs,” and instead use it to hire around 3000 additional police officers.

Here are the “key findings” of my 10-minute audit:

1. Zero Success.The LAPD estimates there are 39,000 gang members in L.A. Hence, the programs are already costing us $4,564 per gang member per year. There are “gang programs” galore. (Click here for a partial list.) Don’t you think if any of them were actually making a positive difference, we would know about it? Of course we would. The logical conclusion, in view of the city’s massive gang problem, is that these programs do not work. There’s no reason to believe more of the same will produce anything other than…more of the same.

2. Increasing Crime, Not Decreasing It. “Gang programs” can be, well, “gang programs.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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