DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – The City attorney’s office introduced a neighborhood prosecutor program which focuses on dealing with community issues before the blossom into larger scale crimes. Kurt Knecht, the prosecutor assigned to Central Division has been with the office for nearly two decades.
Kurt Knecht is the Neighborhood Prosecutor assigned to the Central Division. A graduate of UCLA and UCLA Law School, Knecht has over 17 years of experience as a prosecutor for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.). While working in Criminal Division, he prosecuted over 100 jury trials to verdict with cases including Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Driving Under the Influence, Domestic Violence, Vehicular Manslaughter, and Sexual Assault. Since January 2013, Knecht has worked as the Neighborhood Prosecutor for Central Division. In that capacity, he has worked closely with Central Division’s Safer City Initiative (SCI) Officers and Local Service Providers in coordinating homeless outreach. For the past two years he has been a volunteer crisis counselor for Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services.
The Los Angeles Christian Health Centers offer multiple services to patients in and around Skid Row. Dr. Wayne Aoki is the mental health director for the clinic. Dr. Aoki reports that one of the main issues he sees with his patients is trauma either experienced in childhood or as adults. He also points to “disrespect” as one of the main causes of strife as experienced between some of downtowns newest residents and the most downtrodden.