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California city disbands police force after 8 murders

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COMPTON, Calif. — Eight murders in the past 10 days in this blighted Southern California city have prompted the City Council to disband the police department and ask the sheriff's department for help.

At the urging of Mayor Omar Bradley, council members voted 3-1 Tuesday to disband the department and merge it with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, said city spokesman Frank Wheaton.

"The crime rate has surpassed the Compton Police Department's ability to control," Wheaton said. "The sheriff's department has a tremendous amount of resources . . . to allow the law enforcement agency that serves Compton to be as progressive and up to date as any in the nation."

Compton, a community of about 100,000 18 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, has long struggled with an image as a place of rampant crime and gang violence.