By Jason KUROSU
In August of 1999, a shooting at the North Valley Jewish Community Center and subsequent murder of a postal worker prompted the creation of the D.I.S.A.R.M. program (Developing Increased Safety through Arms Reduction Management) in February 2000. Initiated by Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, D.I.S.A.R.M. intends to remove weapons from the streets by conducting searches of active probationers with histories of weapon possession violations, including 158 such searches conducted on the morning of Dec. 14.
The searches were completed with the combined efforts of officers from multiple agencies including members of the L.A. County Probation Department, 250 L.A. County deputies, members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Community Oriented Policing Services, and the Pasadena Police Department.
“We are very proud of these elite officers who have been specially trained to carry out these high-profile operations,” said L.A. County Probation Department Public Information Officer Kerri Webb.
Locally, in the 2200 block of Florencita Avenue, Lucas Milton, male white, 26, of Montrose, was arrested by task force personnel when they discovered Ecstasy, cocaine, various prescription medications and $3,000 in cash.
Additionally, the fruits of the day’s sweep included 35 arrests and 23 firearms, along with ammunition, drugs and drug paraphernalia, which were displayed in a press conference last Thursday attended by Supervisor Antonovich and members of the Probation Department.
“I’m very pleased with the results of today’s operation and extremely proud of our D.I.S.A.R.M. probation officers who routinely put their own safety on the line to protect our neighborhoods,” said Chief Deputy Probation Officer Calvin Remington. “It’s collaborations like these that provide the best service to local communities.”
During the press conference, Antonovich said, “Since the inception of the D.I.S.A.R.M. program in February 2000, there have been over 16,000 arrests, nearly 8,000 weapons confiscated and over $360 million dollars in illegal drugs and drug money seized.”
In addition, since D.I.S.A.R.M.’s inception, the percentage of probationers in violation of their probation has dropped from 50% to 10%.