Sat, Apr

Message is Simple: ‘No’ to Taxes, Yes to Your Police Officers


JUST THE FACTS--I have been ranting and raving about the deteriorating conditions of our once proud City of Los Angeles neighborhoods for a number of months. Homeless are entrenched in many parts of our residential communities, pot holes exist on more roadways than I can count, severe traffic congestion is in all parts of the city with all the freeways in all directions jammed most times of each and every day until late evenings, graffiti is sprawled along business corridors, trash is spilling over trash cans at bus stops, and crime is increasing in all categories. 

Being a native of Los Angeles and living here for nearly 70 years, I know what our city used to look like and what it used to offer residents, business owners and visitors over the years. 

For the residents, there was affordable housing, good public schools for the children, good manufacturing jobs; auto, bicycle and motorcycle travel on well maintained roadways and relatively safe neighborhoods where people could walk on sidewalks that were even and without huge cracks to trip and fall without fear of being confronted by thugs, homeless living on the sidewalks and an assortment of conditions that turn a well - maintained city into a place that is in severe decay and neglect. 

It can all be turned around with strong, consistent and determined political leadership.   It happened in New York City when Rudy Giuliani was the mayor and the city was experiencing decay at an alarming rate. 

The police were given the tools to do their job and the public work crews were directed to clean up the mess. The transit line operators were tasked to clean the cars before they left the barn and all turned around in a short time. 

I don’t see that happening here in Los Angeles. While I know and respect Mayor Eric Garcetti, his management team is not connected with the task at hand. Homelessness is out of control and the only remedy from our city leaders is an increase in taxes and fees. They want us to put up over one billion dollars to remedy the situation. Money without a plan for how to spend it. 

There will surely be more city jobs created with more and more bureaucracy and costs to the tax payers. I say enough with the constant demand for more money to fix a problem that our city leaders let get out of control. 

The city leaders need to take some of the billions of dollars in our current budget to address this most serious situation. It is interesting that the city leaders let the situation get out of control and are now turning to the taxpayers to correct the situation they created and ignored for such a long period of time. 



TRAGEDY IN DALLAS--The attack on law enforcement rose to a new level when a crazed man assassinated five Dallas police officers and injured many others during a march protesting police shootings in other parts of the country. This tragedy illustrates just how dangerous police work has become. 

In Dallas, with a starting salary of $44,000 a year, it takes brave and courageous individuals to join a career where your life can end in an instant. Your family and friends will remember you each and every day while society moves on and returns back to normal in short time. 

Serving with the LAPD for nearly 50 years, I have lost partners and friends to the dangers of the job. With the grace of God, I remain here to remind you to show your appreciation when you encounter a member of law enforcement. They have a very dangerous job and it is not getting any easier. A friendly smile and wave goes a long way to express your appreciation for your police officers. 

If you are so inclined, when in a restaurant and see an officer on code 7 (Meal Break) think about picking up their tab. This gesture goes a long way in expressing your appreciation for our police. It is not about the person’s color or race with the officers it is about enforcing the law in a fair and professional manner. If you just comply with the officers directions, your encounter can be a pleasant one for both of you.  

(Dennis P. Zine is a 33-year member of the Los Angeles Police Department and former Vice-Chairman of the Elected Los Angeles City Charter Reform Commission, a 12-year member of the Los Angeles City Council and a current LAPD Reserve Officer who serves as a member of the Fugitive Warrant Detail assigned out of Gang and Narcotics Division. He writes Just the Facts for CityWatch. You can contact him at [email protected].)



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