ALPERN AT LARGE--If ever there was a reason to respect law enforcement, it is that understanding that if a crazy guy is running around naked and causing havoc, that it's law enforcement we run to in order to deal with him.
Consider THAT when it comes to pension/salary/benefit negotiations with law enforcement!
And can someone please explain to me what the appeal is of running around naked and freaking out one's fellow passengers on a Metro train?
Is it the innate desire to get tasered? Is it the innate desire to attacking police officers just to see what they would in such an extraordinary set of circumstances?
Is it a statement on the rising cost of Metro fares? I mean, many cities ARE trying to lower them to allow for affordability and encourage ridership.
Certainly, there is less of a fight to secure a seat on a crowded train if you're naked. I mean, wouldn't YOU give up your seat to a determined (and also naked) guy who asked for your seat?
But (seriously) it could be worse ... much worse.
Which is why LA Metro trains and buses will be patrolled not only by LA County Sheriff's deputies but also by the LA and Long Beach Police Departments. Weapons, fights, and other obvious signs abound that law enforcement officers are needed to keep vulnerable transit users safe.
For years, I've encouraged BOTH more trains AND more law enforcement officers in our expanding mass transit network, because mobility and safety aren't mutually exclusive.
It is neither racist nor punitive to demand such a presence that the meth-heads, psychos, weirdos, or other folks that reasonably and understandably make people (particularly women) NOT want to use mass transit.
People of all colors, ages, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds want to be safe, and they want that safety to be taken for granted and secured by our finest protectors: law enforcement.
And THAT is the naked truth!
(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D. is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud father and husband to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He is also a Westside Village Zone Director and Board member of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Planning and Outreach Committees, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee. He was co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chaired the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us . The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)