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Do You Feel Safe?

LOS ANGELES

RANTZ AND RAVEZ - Have you seen enough lawlessness and homeless camps in your neighborhood?  Home Burglaries, Catalytic Converters stolen, Shoplifting at your local grocery and pharmacy stores. 

Do you feel safe driving the roads or walking in your community with cars speeding and not stopping at stop signs. 

Do you feel safe going to the local shopping centers near your home?  Have you read and seen the TV news reports of the serious crimes that have continued to impact your community and your city?

The Headlines tell it all……

*As many as 50 Smash and Grab Robbers took $100,000 in merchandise from the Nordstrom store in Canoga Park on Saturday August 12th.  The same Nordstrom’s was hit on November 2021 and $25,000 in merchandise was stolen.

*Nine men Robbed Gucci storefront in Bloomingdale’s at Westfield Century City Mall taking expensive items.   

*A mob of 30 thieves stole $300,000 worth of items from Yves Saint Laurent store at the Americana at the Brand mall in Glendale.

*The Nike Community Store located at 4585 Whittier Blvd was hit for $1,000 in merchandise.

*A Russian tourist was stabbed in Hollywood at 1:10 pm.

*The Security guard at Hollywood Ralphs shoots, kills person after an assault.

*A call for action grows as Oakland crime spikes.  As crime continues to spike in Oakland, demands for action from city and community leaders are growing louder.  Sats show that not only is crime tending up, but some types of crime have doubled In Oakland. The rising crime trend has caused the NAACP President Cynthia Adams to ask for a state of emergency!  It has gotten so bad in Oakland that criminals are now breaking into homes while the residents are inside their residence!  The CHP has been deployed to work with the Oakland Police to help combat the rising crime.  Some crimes have tripled over the past few year.      

Have you called 911 and waited for a period of time until the operator answered your call to only wait for a police officer to arrive at your location minutes and not seconds later?

If you are a resident of the City of Los Angeles, you have most likely been impacted by the surge in crime and lawlessness in your neighborhood and throughout the City of Los Angeles as viewed on your local news broadcasts. 

What would you expect from the State and Local elected officials who have thrown out the Bail Schedule and replaced it with a total lack of accountability and responsibility for criminal behavior.  Combine this with the lack of visible law enforcement personnel engaged in crime prevention activities that have proven successful in years past when law enforcement deployed sufficient marked units to patrol streets and promptly respond to emergency 911 calls for service.    

The message that has been delivered to the professional and dedicated Law Enforcement personnel is to back off and not get in trouble.  Don’t stop vehicles that have equipment or mechanical code violations  since you could be accused of “profiling” the occupants in the vehicle.  Don’t use probable cause to stop a vehicle since you could be accused as harassing the operator and occupants of the vehicle.  In other words, lay low and avoid confrontation at all costs. 

When the voters elect “Crazy Train” people to city council and other city offices, the impact is for crime to rise and public safety to fall to lower and lower levels. 

We will judge just how supportive members of the Los Angeles City Council really are when the LAPD contract goes before the Council for approval.  The rank-and-file officers recently voted to ratify the proposed 4-year contract by nearly 64%.  The contract calls for salary increases totaling 20% over 4 years. 

With the LAPD total number of sworn personnel at an all-time low of 8,995 as of July 29, 2023, the salary increase may keep some officers from retiring and encouraging new candidates to join the LAPD.  Only time will tell if the contract can motivate people to remain with the Department or join the LAPD.  Keep in mind that many police agencies in California and across America are actively recruiting police officers and civilian staff.  The CHP and Los Angeles County Sheriff are both recruiting 1,000 law enforcement personnel.   

In comparing the LAPD contract to the proposed Longshore workers in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, there are some very interesting points.  The Longshore contract calls for a 32% pay increase through 2028, along with a one-time “Hero Bonus”for working through the pandemic.  Considering that LAPD Officers worked thru the pandemic and some died from the illness, they should have been provided a “Hero’s Bonus” for continuing to report for duty and providing protection to the public.

Look around when you see a marked police vehicle.  Do you think the officers are looking for unusual or suspicious activity or waiting for a radio call to respond to and fill the reporting log with information.  Proactive police work has been replaced with attention to radio calls with fewer probable cause stops to stay out of trouble and internal investigations.  Traffic citations have plummeted lower and lower to avoid being accused of harassing motorists.    

When you add it up, the increasing crime and fear among those living in California falls on the elected officials from the Governor to the elected public office. Politicians that call for the Defunding of the police and fail to support the prosecution of  criminals are the ones who are directly responsible for the destruction of the Golden State of California. 

(Dennis P. Zine is the author of RantZ and RaveZ.  The column is published twice a month in CityWatchLA to inform you of activities in your community.  Your comments are welcome at The Valley News [email protected].)

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