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Tue, Apr

LA Crime Climbing, LA Taxes and Fees Climbing … And, Our $189,041 Per Year Electeds Appear Clueless

LOS ANGELES

JUST THE FACTS--The latest Los Angeles City Crime Statistics reflect a growing trend of more and more crime victims and little relief in sight from our law enforcement agencies. From the LAPD to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to the California Highway Patrol, more and more attacks on our dedicated law enforcement personnel are taking place with few residents standing up and voicing their support for the men and women who risk their lives Protecting and Serving our diverse communities of Southern California.

And, the LA area men and women in blue are not the only ones paying a price. According to preliminary data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, as of July 20, 2016, sixty-seven federal, state and local law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty this year, increasing eight percent over the 62 officers killed in the same period last year. We've also found an alarming 78 percent spike in firearms-related officer fatalities, many of which were ambush-style killings.

Thirty-two officers have been killed in firearms-related fatalities this year, a dramatic increase of 78 percent, compared to 18 deaths during the same period last year. Traffic-related fatalities were the second leading cause of officer deaths, with 24 officers killed thus far in 2016. This represents a 17 percent decrease over the 29 officers killed in traffic-related incidents during the same period last year.

It is reported that crime in Los Angeles City is up in many categories. Namely assaults, robberies and property offenses. The overall crime increase is at 6.3%. Property crime is up 3.8% while violent crime has increased 15.9%. Violent crime has led by 19.2% in aggravated assaults and16.8% in robberies. 

The reasons for the increases can be attributed to many factors. Officers’ fear of being accused of profiling or engaging in selective enforcement is a contributing factor. Gang violence, the exploding homeless population, and the 2014 Proposition 47 that reduced many crimes from a felony to a misdemeanor contribute to those negative numbers. And, Measure 109 has done its part .... while the state prison population has been reduced, the communities have become the victims of these measures. 

You will soon be voting on the elimination of the California Death Penalty. Proposition 62 will be on the November ballot. Keep in mind, with the elimination of the California Death Penalty, more people will be filling the overcrowded State Prisons forcing the release of other violent inmates into our communities.  

If you live in a portion of Los Angeles served by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Sheriff reports an increase of 8.4% in violent crime and a 6.8% in property crimes.

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HE FOUGHT THE LAW AND THE LAW WON-- There was an arrogant man that owned a number of trailers and parked them on valley streets to advertise a variety of items and services. The trailers were left on major roadways and created serious traffic hazards throughout the San Fernando Valley and generated a large number of resident complaints. 

At the time, I was a Los Angeles City Councilman and moved to eliminate the trailers from the roadways. Signs were posted prohibiting the parking of the trailers on Valley streets and citation enforcement began. The citations had little to no impact on the parking of the trailers and the frustration of the community grew more and more. 

I worked with then Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield, our current Los Angeles City Councilman, who represented my district in the assembly. We teamed up and drafted state legislation prohibiting the parking of the trailers on all roadways. The legislation eliminated the problem and peace returned to the communities. The arrogant man … I will not mention his name … appealed the state legislation. This month, a federal court upheld the legislation and ruled that it did not violate any rules or constitutional provisions. I Thank Councilman Blumenfleld and the court for upholding the legislation banning the trailers from all city roadways.

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TAXES AND FEES AND MORE TAXES AND FEES … ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT SOME OF THE PROPOSED INCREASES--The DWP has already increased your Water and Power Rates. The new rates from 2016 thru 2020 have been approved and will be reflected on your future DWP Bills. As they say, this is a done deal and nothing can be done to change it. 

However, you have a vote for the proposed future tax and fee increases. 

I will start with increased taxes for the Transit. This will add a ½ cent to sales tax until the end of time. This will increase our sales tax to 9 ½ cents. 

There is the proposed $1.5 Billion Dollar Bond or Parcel Tax to address the Homeless. Either way, your taxes will increase … likely your property tax. 

The County has proposed … then changed their mind … to implement a tax on Marijuana.   This is assuming that the November election will see Marijuana approved for recreational use in California. This is proposed to raise between $78 to $130 million annually. 

If you are rich enough to be in a Millionaires club, you will see an increase in your taxes to address the homeless. 

As we approach the November election, I am sure additional taxes and tax increases will be brought up to address the many ills of our city. The current Los Angeles City budget of $8.76 BILLION is just not enough money to run the City of the Angeles!  

(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].)

-cw

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