Call for More Cops

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Councilmember Bonin calls for more police officers on the streets. Photo Courtesy David Graham-Caso.

by Melanie Camp.

Friday, January 20th, Councilmember Mike Bonin submitted a proposal to the City Council that calls on LAPD to put more focus on neighborhood policing and increase the number of officers assigned to patrol duty.

The aim is to improve response times and police officers’ relationships in the communities where they work. Bonin’s legislation, which he is calling “Back to Basic Car” builds on decades-worth of efforts by the LAPD to focus resources on community policing.

“LAPD’s leaders must improve how they allocate resources to get more patrol units in neighborhoods. That is the only way the department can protect and serve our residents and our neighborhoods in the way that we all deserve,” said Bonin.

At a rally on Thursday, January 19th, Bonin discussed statistics that showed in 1969, there were 6,194 sworn officers, of which, on average 337 of these officers were on the street during the day shift. By comparison, on an afternoon just a month ago, though there were 9,885 sworn LAPD officers, only 311 of them were out patrolling neighborhoods. “Those numbers are especially troubling when considering that the population of Los Angeles has increased by more than one-million people from 1969 to today,” said Bonin. “To have thousands more sworn officers in the LAPD, but fewer of them in our neighborhoods shows a problem that must be corrected.”

While Area Commanding Officer at LAPD Pacific Division, Dominic Choi, was unable to attend Bonin’s media conference and was unable to comment directly on the plan, he told Yo! Venice that his commitment is to reducing crime and his top priority is public safety.

LAPD Captain III Dominic Choi
Area Commanding Officer at LAPD Pacific Division Dominic Choi says his top priority is public safety.

“I know what resources I have at my disposal to serve this community.  My goal is to use both traditional policing and new innovative ideas to be most effective in my crime reduction efforts.  That includes partnering with the community as force multipliers, increasing use of technology (cameras, license plate readers, etc.,) and increased messaging for public education,” said Choi.

Mark Ryavec is president of the Venice Stake Holders Association and will run against Bonin on March 7. Getting more police on the streets is something Ryavec said he is actively seeking.

“I’ve spoken in public and called on my website for a change in LAPD’s deployment formula. I have specifically called for the LAPD to take emails of incidents and complaints into account in assigning officers, in addition to telephone calls,” said Ryavec.

Choi agrees an increase in patrolling officers would be a good thing. “Sure, more cops on the street would be great, but please know that we are doing everything that we can to keep this community safe,”

For more information about Bonin’s plan to get more cops in neighborhoods visit 11thdistrict.com/back_to_basic_car_plan.

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