November 10, 2002

Police Chief William Bratton
POB 30158
Los Angeles, CA 90030
(Mailed Certified, Signature Required)

Dear Chief Bratton:

On November 3, 2002, the headline of the Los Angeles Daily News read "GANG CRACKDOWN." The sub-headline of that article read "Chief asks residents' help in war on gangs." As a Van Nuys Block Captain, who has for over 10 years worked with our Senior Lead Officers in solving many of our neighborhood's problems involving crime and quality-of-life issues, I would like to offer a suggestion to significantly reduce gang crime.

I believe that Mayor James Hahn and the Los Angeles City Council could not have made a better choice in selecting you as our new Chief. But the irony is that Mayor Hahn, the City Council, City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, and others, are all part of the gang problem.

I have enclosed copies of two op-eds I authored: "Well intentioned 'Special Order 40' has opposite effect" published in the Los Angeles Times March 25, 2000, and "Foreigners in gangs should be deported" published in the Los Angeles Daily News May 3, 2002. My past appeals to the said leaders to repeal or redefine Special Order 40  have been ignored.

Special Order 40 is well known to foreign criminals and terrorists who quickly realize that Los Angeles is a criminal and terrorist friendly city -- where it is legal to be illegal -- yet, since 9/11, the gravity of the vulnerability of Los Angeles has still not set in with our leaders.

At a town hall meeting on June 12, 2002, at St Elizabeth Church in Van Nuys, I suggested to Mayor Hahn that the LAPD use the same criteria as they do to identify gang members for injunctions, as criteria to turn illegal alien gang members over to the INS for deportation -- even when not charged with a crime. But the mayor ignoring the issue of public safety, insisted that any dealings having to do with immigration status (even gang members), is a job "only" for the INS.

Special Order 40 should be replaced with a clear mandate that assures that the LAPD may not randomly detain immigrants solely for the purpose of determining their immigration status, but LAPD officers should not be prevented from determining immigration status of known gang members or other known or suspected criminals.

You should also consider that it won't be long before police suer, Steve Yagman sues the LAPD for a wrongful drive-by death caused by a known illegal alien shooter who should have been turned over to the INS in the first place.

I acknowledge that the vast majority of undocumented immigrants are not criminals just as I acknowledge that the vast majority of Arabs are not suicide bombers. But public safety demands that the LAPD use all legal means to prevent crime by a few.

Hal Netkin

ENC: Daily News Editorial: "Outlaw City."

CC: Mayor Hahn, City Attorney Delgadillo, (Mailed Certified, Signature Required), Deputy Chief Ronald Bergmann, all members of the Los Angeles City Council via email, other unnamed recipients, and website (in three weeks)