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COMPTON-Compton, California, a neighborhood once notorious for drugs, gangs and violence has seen a significant drop in crime. Yahoo News investigates why.

With a huge drop in homicides in a historically crime-ridden part of Los Angeles County, longtime residents say they finally feel safe sitting on their front porches and visiting neighborhood parks.

Compton, Calif., tallied only 24 homicides in 2010, down from 36 in 2009 and 87 in 1991, according to L.A. Times crime reporters. All in all, homicides plunged by 67 percent in less than five years, and other violent crimes are also way down.

Local authorities credit a 10-year effort to strengthen community ties and fight gangs. Residents tip off cops to possible crimes and help prevent youths from joining gangs, sheriff’s officials say.

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