RANTZ & RAVEZ - The L.A. Metro Bus and Rail systems Chief Safety Officer can’t guarantee a safe environment for passengers during ALL OPERATING hours! Why would anyone RISK their SAFETY or LIFE to travel on the Metro bus or rail system in Los Angeles?
During a recent interview on KNX News Radio Gina Osborne, the Metro Bus and Rail systems Chief Safety Officer, stated the following when asked if she would feel safe riding the system alone. “There are times that are safer than other times to ride.” This statement is directly from the person charged with providing a safe environment for the 255 million people who ride the over $8.8 Billion Dollar Metro bus and rail systems in portions of Southern California. If the person charged with providing a safe environment does not believe it is safe to ride the Metro public transit system DURING ALL OPERATING HOURS, what should the transit dependent population do to protect themselves from an attack by another transit rider or others they may encounter while waiting for a train or bus to arrive at a loading location?
An attack like the ones that have recently been reported in the media. “Metro mayhem: Newly released video shows violent crimes on buses and trains.” Attacks like the following: Two people stabbed at or near L.A. Metro station. The first attack happened just before 5 p.m. at the Metro Hollywood/Western Station. The second attack occurred on 600 S. Alvarado Street around 8:20 pm. The victim was severely injured.
According to Metro, the most serious violent crimes include Assaults, Murder, Rape, and Robbery. These crimes have increased 24% since 2021. Across the Metro system, there were 21 deaths in 2022. There have already been 21 deaths on the Metro system since January 2023! Not what most people would consider a safe environment to travel by yourself or with family or friends in the region covered by Metros transportation services.
You may wonder what Metro is doing to increase the safety for passengers on the rail and bus system in the region?
While Metro has contracts with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, LAPD and Long Beach Police Dept they have pushed for more Ambassadors and unarmed security personnel to maintain safety and security on the transit lines. This effort has not generated the appearance of protection for the riding public. For some reason, Metro does not want armed law enforcement professionals to engage in proactive enforcement. I have been told this by numerous law enforcement officers assigned to Metro duties or working overtime for Metro security. If only the Metro board and Metro management would permit law enforcement officers to do the job they know how to do, security would be enhanced and problems would finally be reduced and safety would be present at the transportation lines operated by Metro. Nothing less will achieve adequate and sustained safety for the people who ride the Metro system in and around Los Angeles.
On a personal note, I have ridden the Orange Line, Red Line and Blue line to Long Beach on occasion in the past. I did not feel safe on any of the Metro lines and will do whatever I can to avoid using the Metro systems during my future travels.
The Los Angeles City Council’s newly elected CRAZY TRAIN members continue to generate CRAZY ideas with their statements and votes during city council meetings.
Many of you have been the victim of a Catalytic converter theft. It is estimated that over 153,000 catalytic converters were stolen across America last year. Many of those in the Los Angeles area. I am sure some you have been the victim of this crime.
The cost of replacing a converter cost from $2,000 on the low end to over $3,000 on the high end. Motorhome converters can cost over $5,000 to replace.
Los Angeles City Councilmember John Lee from the 12th district in the San Fernando valley has been approached by residents in his community who have been the victim of a converter theft. Responding to the growing crime, Councilmember Lee authored an ordinance to strengthen the penalties for those arrested for converter theft.
When the item was brought up for a vote in council, it passed 8-4 with three members absent. What elected official would vote no on this item to strengthen the law and consequences for stealing a converter from a vehicle?
This is where the CRAZY TRAIN comes in. Eunisses Hernandez, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Nithya Raman and Hugo Soto-Hernandez all voted NO on this item. Hernandez was concerned about possession of a car part leading to a fine or jail time. “I am not in agreement with creating more opportunities to criminalize our communities,” Hernandez said.
There you have it. If your Catalytic Converter was stolen and you paid hundreds or thousands of dollars to replace it, send the bill to one of the CRAZY TRAIN councilmembers who voted against the ordinance designed to keep your property safe!
The next time you vote, try and vote for someone who cares more about you and your family than they care about those who steal and break the laws designed to keep us all safe.
(Dennis P. Zine is the author or RantZ and RaveZ. The column is published twice a month in CityWatchLA to keep you informed of political and associated activities in and around Los Angeles. Dennis is a retired member of law enforcement and a retired L.A. City Councilmember. Your comments are welcome and can be sent to the Valley News Group at [email protected].)