RANTZ & RAVEZ-It has been a while since I brought you a good RaveZ, so here’s one that really drew applause.
It was a quiet day and I was engaged in a variety of projects for many of the organizations I work with. A call came from a good friend, a valley resident who lives in Bell Canyon with his wife and dog and two horses. Rick (not his real name) and his wife are blessed with financial success and a loving marriage. He was informed by his wife that her purse was stolen while she was shopping at a local supermarket on Ventura Blvd. When Rick began to ask questions, his wife (who we will call Melissa) explained how her purse had been stolen out of her shopping cart.
When Rick began to get specific, he learned that Melissa accidently left her purse in the shopping cart in the parking lot and drove off before realizing after a few minutes that her purse was missing. She promptly rushed back to the scene and discovered the purse was gone and the shopping cart was empty. Was the purse stolen deliberately or was it just a dishonest person taking advantage of Melissa’s mistake?
You be the judge on that matter.
The purse contained her wallet, cell phone, credit cards, driver license, $10 and a host of other personal items. Rick has some experience in law enforcement, having worked with the LAPD as a reserve officer for many years. Melissa has also lost a number of cell phones in the past and Rick now uses a locator whenever they are missing or misplaced. He activated the locator and traced her cell phone to Ventura Blvd and Dumetz in Woodland Hills. He then drove to that intersection and believed the phone was in the storm drain. This is where it really gets interesting.
Rick, being reluctant to crawl down into the storm drain, called me to help him out. Not that he asked me to do that either, but rather to use my influence as the Honorary Mayor of Woodland Hills and Ambassador of LA City Councilman Bob Blumenfield’s Third Council District office to get a city crew to respond and hopefully locate the purse. I phoned Cara Goldman who is a city employee that has many connections with various city departments. She was able to contact a representative from the City’s Bureau of Public Works which deals with storm drains. Within minutes, a city crew arrived and was preparing to search the area for the purse.
While this was occurring, a local gardener phoned Rick to tell him he found a purse and was calling the number that was flashing on the phone. Rick responded, went to meet the man and recovered the purse with all its contents inside except the $10 bill. Rick was elated and gave the man a $100 bill as a reward. Three RaveZ go out to the gardener for his honesty, to Cara for her quick call to have a crew respond in record time, and to the city crew that responded. As far as Melissa is concerned, hopefully she will learn from this experience and be more careful with her purse in the future. This story is true, although the names have been changed to protect the happy marriage of Rick and Melissa!
California and Senate Bill 10: The Bail Reform Act.
Governor Brown signed the Bail Reform Act on August 28, 2018. This act will revamp the traditional bail system for those arrested and is just the latest attack on Public Safety provisions that were established to protect you and your families. The California Legislature has already reclassified and reduced penalties for drug crimes, property crimes and delivered all sorts of other hits on the California Criminal Justice System. This is the latest in a series of measures that reduce the consequences of engaging in criminal activity in California. We already have AB 109, Props 47 and 57 in place in California -- all designed to weaken our Criminal Justice System.
Los Angeles Police COMPSTAT.
The current LAPD sworn deployment is at 10,000 sworn police officers. In a recent conversation with Chief Michel Moore, he explained how he is trying to maintain the 10,000 number despite the efforts of some city leaders who want to reduce the size of the LAPD. Any reduction in sworn personnel will negatively impact public safety in Los Angeles. It has taken years to reach the 10,000 number and it must remain at that level and should be increased if anything. Remember that the 2028 World Olympics are coming to LA and we need sufficient personnel in place to provide security as well as to police the entire 472.93 square miles of Los Angeles.
Some crime statistics:
Violent Crime is down in all categories 2018 vs 2017: -2.8%.
Property Crime is up in two categories: Burglary and Theft from vehicle +0.3% and Personal/other theft +0.4%.
Arrests are down -2.0%.
That’s it for this edition of RantZ & RaveZ. I wish you and your families a Safe and Happy Labor Day.
(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.