Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Life: Life in the Big City

Went to a neighborhood meeting to discuss crime.

image source:

Our guest was one of the lead officers from the LAPD division that covers our area. The approximate coverage area: Santa Monica Freeway to the south, Beverly Blvd. to the north, La Cienega Blvd to the west and Normandie Ave. to the east. The population in this patrol area is probably larger than many cities in the rest of the USA.

He acknowledged there is the planned number of cops to cover that beat and the reality of being short-handed. As such, good coordination between ground units and the helicopters is crucial. He also mentioned their careful observation of crime trends so they can deploy their limited resources to regions within the division area.

Another problem is that most police officers in our part of Los Angeles do not live there because they can't afford to. Thus, most commute in great distances and do 12-hour shifts three days a week. Ideally in community policing approaches, the cops would be on the beat most days of the week and become known individuals to the neighborhood.

I also found out that when you use the cell phone to call 911 in our neighborhood it will likely be routed to the California Highway Patrol! Thus, one has to clearly state what city before going any further in stating the nature of the emergency so they can connect the caller to the right place.

He reminded us that 911 is often overloaded on weekends when crime is highest. If that is the case, he advised we call the LAPD division office directly.



Blogger ex-Hollywood Liberal said...

If you read Lou Cannon's "Official Negligence" you'll find the reasons why community policing is in NAME ONLY in LA. As explained by former police commissioner (now leftie 9th circus juge Steve Reinhart, Community Policing erodes judicial and political power. Cops CAN'T stay in your area for a long time because when police and the community have a close relationship, it threatens politicians and judges who hurt the community served. I've explained this on my blog and I'd be happy to explain it to you in person as well. I regularly meet community groups and I'd meet with your group (or any group) for free. Your Senior Lead is a good person and means well, but he's paid an addition 5% so that captains (and the chief and mayor) will control his comments. The moment he starts telling you the truth about LAPD policy and effectiveness spells the end of his or her promotional opportunities. If he persists he will be transferred to other duties far from your ear. And if he still persists, he will be targeted for termination.

Like you, most cops are completely clueless about what community policing means. To understand, read James Q. Wilson's "Broken Windows." And if you want a basic overview of LAPD policits, read the cannon book. And if you seek a further explanation, write to me... Best wishes... Clark Baker, LAPD (ret).

PS - you can also call my radio show at midnight, Sunday nights, on KRLA.

1:24 PM  

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