15
Sat, Jun

Law Enforcement Blamed Amid Costly Campus Protests; and Safety Concerns Surge on LA Metro

LOS ANGELES

RANTZ AND RAVEZ - When peaceful protests and demonstrations become unlawful and destructive, activist and some WEAK-KNEE SPINLESS politicians like to blame the Police, Sheriff, Highway Patrol, and any or all other Law Enforcement Agency called to quell the situation and restore order at the location of the incident.  The most recent situation involves the protests and illegal campouts at various universities across America from the Pacific Ocean to the East Coast including two of many in our back yard namely USC and UCLA. 

Once upon a time when unlawful protests and hostile events unfolded on college campuses the blame was cast upon the groups or individuals generating the hostile and combative situation.  As time has passed, we now find that the local law enforcement agencies are singled out for their squad formations and use of less-lethal tactics and devices.  The most recent incidents in Los Angeles were generated by an assortment of organized outside agitators along with angry students and faculty members protesting the current and deadly war in the Middle East between the Israeli military personnel and the terrorist group Hamas.  The use of LAPD, CHP, Sheriff, UCLA Police, and campus security personnel were required to use an assortment of non-lethal tactics to regain order on various campus property occupied by protestors who refused to comply with timely and lawful dispersal orders.  The cost to the Taxpayers of the City of Los Angeles to date is approximately $583,000 with the deployment of nearly 600 LAPD Personnel and Tactical Alerts.  Over half a million City of Los Angeles Tax dollars to regain order when organized agitators, students and faculty refused to comply with dispersal orders to clear from the impacted campus property. 

There are verified intelligence reports stating that Terror-Linked Groups Coordinated Hateful Campus Encampments across America on the Telegram App.  It is obvious that the national protests and confrontations with law enforcement were intentional and not just organized by students at the universities across our nation.  It is important to note this information as we approach the National Presidential Election which will generate support for certain candidates and anger and hostility toward other candidates.  Time will tell if the next Presidential election will be peaceful or one that generates protests and violence.       

While the college protests have generated national news coverage, I found a survey dealing with college students current important concerns. 

  • Healthcare reform  40%
  • Educational funding and access  38%
  • Economic fairness and opportunity  37%
  • Racial justice and civil rights  36%
  • Climate change  35%
  • Gun control/safety  32%
  • Immigration policies  21%
  • National security/terrorism 15%
  • The conflict in the Middle East  13%      

 

As you can see by the survey, the war in the Middle East only generated a 13% concern.  This demonstrates the outside influence of organized protestors on college campuses that are only interested in creating turmoil and combative situations at American Universities.  The survey of 1,250 U.S. College Students was taken May 3-6, 2024.  

METRO AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY.  IS IT SAFE FOR YOU TO USE? 

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger have both publicly stated that they don’t believe the Los Angeles Bus and Rail systems (Metro) are safe to use.  They are attempting to correct the situation by increasing the number of Law Enforcement Officers and other security personnel and ambassadors assigned to the transportation operations throughout the multi-city system.  

Current news reports of crimes including multiple murders have alerted the public to the continuing hazards of riding the Buses and Trains in Los Angeles County.  Murders along with an assortment of other serious crimes have caused the public to be concerned for their safety while utilizing public transportation.  

The most recent political answer to the troubling situation is to increase the number of police and security personnel and establish a unified command to direct operations on the massive transportation network.  While this is a long time in coming, it is an improvement in the former security concerns expressed by elected officials.  For the most part, the security issues have been pushed aside or ignored.  

One of the major issues with the security operations and directions to law enforcement personnel by Metro has been to IGNORE those passengers who fail to comply with the “Code of Conduct.”  The Code of Conduct as directed by Metro has been to IGNORE enforcement and just be present and smile and wave to everyone.  Like a Good Will Ambassador.  Don’t enforce the fee to ride any of the Metro lines.  Let everyone ride for free and just smile and wave to the passengers!  This misguided direction by the Metro Board has been one of the main problems and the direct connection to crime.  Finally, the Metro Board has realized that with over 95% of those arrested for any offense did not pay the fare, fare enforcement has finally begun.  I have been commenting about this situation in previous RantZ and RaveZ columns.  We will see if Murders and other serious crimes are reduced with the Fare and Code of Conduct Enforcement program recently authorized by the Metro Board. 

Gina Osborne, former FBI,  who was recently fired by Metro as the Metro Security Director is now appearing in the media speaking out about the crime problems under her watch.  It is interesting listening to her complain when she should have voiced her concerns when she was in charge of Metro security operations and could have warned riders of the hazards on the transit lines.  Osborne is pushing for Metro to re-establish their own police agency.  The Metro had a police agency a few years ago.  Good luck trying to re-establish a Metro Transit Police Agency when the LAPD, L.A. Sheriff, Highway Patrol and many state and local law enforcement agencies are struggling to recruit law enforcement officers to established agencies. 

(Dennis P.  Zine is the author of RantZ and RaveZ.  Dennis is a retired member of Law Enforcement and current Reserve Police Officer.  Dennis was an elected L.A. City Councilmember for 12 years and is the Law Enforcement Specialist for Spectrum and Fox TV and KABC 790 am Radio.)