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Compton to bring back city police department

June 2, 2010 12:35:21 AM PDT
The city of Compton took a giant step toward reclaiming its ability to police itself a decade after its force was dismantled amid allegations of corruption and political influence.The city council voted on Tuesday night to void its contract with the L.A. County Sheriff's Department. The move has sparked controversy in the city because many residents are happy with the Sheriff's Department, which currently handles police duties in Compton.

"I believe that we should stay with the sheriff's department because crime is down. They've been doing their job. People respect them for what they do," said Compton resident Marshaun Egland.

Compton's mayor, who cast the deciding vote, said that having their own police department will instill a sense of civic pride. Supporters also say they hope the change will bring more friendly faces on the force.

"To be honest with you, when you come into an area where there is Hispanics, blacks, and you're not a part of that, you don't quite understand what's going on," said Compton resident Morris Giddens.

Ten years ago, the Compton Police Department was disbanded because of political inviting and a soaring crime rate. Supporters say it could be different this time.

"I really do think having the police department here will be a better idea," said Compton resident Demarcus Moon. "I think sheriff's department kind of does their own thing a little more than the police department does, and they can be held more accountable."

City leader said the transition would take about a year. It's not clear who would run the new force or how big the police force would be. The future of the deputies currently stationed in Compton is also unclear.

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