Sat, Jul

The LA Crime Picture is Not Pretty


RantZ and RaveZ - As the months pass and we approach the end of 2022, the Los Angeles City crime picture continues to claim more victims as reflected by the October 29th LAPD crime statistics. 

Note that when crime victims fail to report an incident to the police and fail to complete a crime report actual crime statistic numbers are not accurate.  I urge everyone who becomes a crime victim to report the incident to the police and complete a crime report and obtain a “DR” number.  Many crime reports can be completed on-line without going to a police station.  The reports are used along with various other factors to determine the number of police personnel assigned to the 21 community patrol and special divisions located throughout Los Angeles. 

The October 29th LAPD Citywide COMPSTAT Profile lists the current crime trends as we approach the end of 2022.  The murder rate continues to increase along with many other crime categories.  

2020 vs 2022 LAPD Crime Statistics 

--Homicide is up +14.6%  with 329 victims.

--Robbery is up   +16% with 7,716 victims.

--Aggravated Assaults are up 10.7% with 17,010 victims. 

--Burglary is up +5.1% with 11,961 victims.

--GTA is up +23% with 21,745 stolen vehicles.

--Shots Fired is up +17.9% with 2,689 reports.

--Shooting Victims are up +12% with 1156 victims.

--All arrests are down -10.0%.

NOTE:  Due to the delay in obtaining final election results, my comments on the November 8th Los Angeles City Election results will be published in my next RantZ and RaveZ column.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl FINALLY found some time with nearly 8 years in office to visit the San Fernando Valley to dedicate the Multi-Million Dollar Los Angeles River Headwaters Pavilion in Canoga Park as she prepares to retire from office in a few days. 

It was an overcast day in Canoga Park when 8 - year L.A. County Board of Supervisor member Sheila Kuehl must have finally found the map to get to the San Fernando Valley and Canoga Park.  The Supervisor joined a small group of people who gathered and joined in the ground-breaking dedication of the Los Angeles River Headwaters Pavilion designed by famed architect Frank Gehry.  The Pavilion is scheduled to be constructed along Bassett Street near Canoga Avenue adjacent to the 51-mile Los Angeles River.  As I approached the location of the dedication, I noticed county crews blocking the street hard at work cleaning up the piles of trash and clutter associated with the homeless camp located along Bassett Street and adjacent to the L.A. River.  There were a number of trash trucks, hazardous material crews and a large team of L.A. County Personnel trying to spruce up the area that has become one more trash filled homeless encampment in the San Fernando Valley.  

The Multi-Million-dollar project will bring the following amenities to the area:  Bathrooms, Shade Canopy, Drinking Fountain, Bicycle Racks, Benches, Lighting and Signage. 

Once the city finally addresses the homeless encampments in the neighborhood along Bassett Street, the Los Angeles River Headwaters Pavilion might be a nice place to visit with your family and friends. 

God Bless America and the Land of the Free 

It all began with the Saugus High School Football Team flying a black and white flag with a Blue Stripe as the team ran onto the field.  The flag was intended to show support of Law Enforcement and has become very popular with law enforcement personnel and those supporters of law enforcement across America. The Saugus High Team wanted to show their appreciation for law enforcement officers who responded to a school shooting at Saugus High in 2019.  There were three students killed and two wounded in the attack.   

There is currently a controversy by some community members who don’t support law enforcement personnel being recognized with the Blue Stripe that adorns the special Flag.  

I can say as a current member of law enforcement with over 54 years of service to the people of Los Angeles that I support the Blue Stripe and appreciate the efforts of those that respect and recognize the dedication of law enforcement personnel who have come under  attacks from segments of American society in recent years.  Law enforcement leaders have turned to body cameras and other electronic devices to support officers who attempt to “Protect and Serve” all people in America.  All people includes all genders, races, religion and  lifestyles. 

I recently met with Mr.  Joe Messina who is the Hart school board president who fully supports the law enforcement appreciation flag.  Joe stated that he believes it is a slap in the face of those who came running toward danger at Saugus High School.  

The situation is not resolved since members of the community continue to support and oppose the flying of the flag at football games. 

The Hart district Superintendent Mike Kuhlman has directed that the Saugus High School football team can no longer use the Blue Line flag at pregame ceremonies.  This matter is not over yet.     

This situation reminds me of the 2019 controversy surrounding the Betsy Ross flag.  Nike announced that it was going to release an athletic shoe featuring the Betsy Ross flag.  At that time, football quarterback Colin Rand Kaepernick, then the Nike spokesperson, objected condemning the flag as a symbol of racism and slavery.  The shoe production was halted at that time. 

The situation with the Blue Line in the flag and the Betsy Ross flag have something in common that undermines patriotism essential to preserving liberty.      

(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.