RANTZ & RAVEZ-“A Failure of the Leadership of the City” -- Rick J. Caruso, developer of the Grove, the Commons and other shopping centers when asked about the recent riots in Los Angeles that caused major damage to his property and others in Metropolitan LA.
While regions of Southern California continue to recover from protests, rioting and looting, many stores remain closed for repairs so they can open for shoppers. With the looting, burning and other intentional acts of violence and damage to both public and private property costing millions of dollars, the recovery is slow. A large number of LAPD b/w police cars were destroyed beyond repair. $40 million was spent in police overtime and the curfew alone.
As Governor Newsom relaxes the restrictions on business and the movement of the public due to Covid-19, people are venturing out into the community, resuming a life of some normalcy. As days and weeks pass, we see the return of traffic congestion on freeways, people hurrying around to get to their destinations -- a slow return to a “new” life of normalcy.
Cowering to the demands of hostile groups, Mayor Garcetti, (photo above) -- without considering the consequences to public safety -- stated that he would recommend slashing the Los Angeles Police Department budget by $150 million dollars. Since the new budget takes effect on July 1, 2020, there is little time to truly meet and confer with labor organizations about how the $150 million dollars will be slashed. Will the S.W.A.T. team be eliminated? Will Air Units be reduced, and choppers sold? Will the fleet of black and white vehicles be reduced? Will detectives be removed from investigating some crimes? In short, how will the LAPD reduce $150 million dollars from their budget?
In addition to the foolish and irresponsible response by the spineless Mayor to those demanding a reduction to the LAPD budget, 12 cowardly members of the LA City Council agreed with hiz honor to slash the police budget. Only three councilmembers had the courage to stand up for public safety and vote against a foolish plan that caves to the demands of hostile anti-police groups.
While discussing the LAPD budget, let me share with you the most recent LAPD Crime Stats as of June 13, 2020.
The stats compare 2018 to 2020: ARRESTS.
Note that all arrests are down a total of -30.7%
Aggravated Assault -6.5%
Motor Vehicle Theft-9.1%
Total Violent -8.6%
Total Part 1 -14.3%
Total All Arrests-30.7%
With arrests plummeting to lower levels, is there is a need for additional or fewer officers? Will you and your family be safer when there are fewer police officers on the streets of LA to respond to 911 calls?
With the lines at local gun stores growing longer, how safe will Los Angeles be with fewer police officers?
When considering the transfer of police funds to other organizations that deal with the homeless and the mentally Ill, note that organizations that serve the homeless already receive millions of dollars from voter-approved tax increases, even as the homeless population continues to increase. Over 800 people are employed to deal with homelessness in Los Angeles. The most recent report listed a double-digit increase in homeless over last year.
LA County spends over $50 million a year in just the San Fernando Valley to deal with the mentally ill and homeless population.
The law enforcement community is charged with “Protecting and Serving People and Property.” They are doing what most are afraid to do. They risk their lives to protect you and your family. Today’s police departments include all races, genders, religions, and sexual orientation; they are open to all people who have a solid background and can be trusted to do the job in an honest and professional manner. Please support them before they all retire, resign, or move to a city that respects and appreciates their efforts. The slogan “To Protect and Serve” is not just words to police officers: it is a way of life.
(Dennis P. Zine is a former and retired LAPD Supervisor, former and retired 12-year Los Angeles City Councilman and current General Manager at Bell Canyon in Ventura County. Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.)