Monday, May 29, 2006
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
(Buy rest I mean work on everything that needs to get done.)
Everyone have a great summer.
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
It's been fun, and it's been real. It's been real fun. Take care, ya'll.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Monday, February 20, 2006
Scandals and Stereotypes
I am married to an LAPD officer. In his 17 years on the job, I have clearly seen the personal effect these incidents have on him and his colleagues. Work is harder to face – many officers feel like they, too, are standing in the harsh glare of the media spotlight while investigations are ongoing. It’s hard to watch the news and hear various personalities talk about how awful their tactics are, how the whole department is corrupt and then tell them how to do their job better.
At my own job I have to train myself not to react as I listen to colleagues quip about "cops on the take" and "those flashlight-wielding maniacs." Ha. Ha.
The Rampart scandal was legitimate, yes. Officers who grossly abuse their positions of authority should be held accountable and punished appropriately. But what I hate to see as a result of these scandals are the endless stereotyping of officers in general. Or how some find it necessary to form opinions of law enforcement from quick sound bites and little research of their own and then jump on the nearest soap box to spout off.
There are a great majority of officers out there who don’t deserve these stereotypes and are honestly doing the best they can in a daily battle against crime, under-staffing, under-funding and negative public perceptions. They deserve instead respect and the right to be held accountable for their own sins – and not for the sins of others.
Monday, January 23, 2006
Yeah, me neither.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Dunphy on Handguns
But let's take a look at the experience of one such state, the one so roundly reviled on both coasts for having given us George W. Bush. In 1996, the state of Texas enacted Senate Bill 60, known as the Concealed Handgun Law, which restored the rights of law-abiding citizens who obtain the proper license to carry concealed handguns. When the bill was being debated, the antigun Cassandras predicted bloodbaths, envisioning pistol-packing Texans settling their disputes in roadside shootouts.
The exact opposite has come to pass. Writing on the Dallas Blog, Jerry Patterson, author of S.B. 60, says that rather than turning into the Wild West, Texas is now the Mild West, with falling crime rates and streets safer than ever. Since the bill's passage, handgun murders have fallen 18 percent, and the handgun murder-per capita rate has fallen 13 percent. As of December 2005, there were 247,345 active handgun licenses in Texas, and a study by the National Center for Policy Analysis has shown that the licensees are 5.7 times less likely than the average Texan to be arrested for a violent offense and 14 times less likely for a nonviolent one.
Van Nuys: 16-Year Old Girl Shot
A 16-year-old Van Nuys girl shot in the face Saturday while playing with a gun was hospitalized and will likely recover, but the teen who was showing off the gun is now in custody, according to police.
The shooting happened about 2:20 p.m. in the 16000 block of Vanowen Street, Los Angeles police Officer Mike Lopez said.
The girl’s 20-year-old sister told detectives two 16-year-old boys from school had brought the gun to the residence. She believed the shooting was accidental, as the boys were showing off the weapon.
The name of the boy was withheld. He was being held at LAPD's Van Nuys Station and expected to be booked at a Sylmar juvenile hall on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon. The gun was not immediately recovered.
It really makes you wonder what is going through the heads of teenagers these days. Wait a second --- isn't 16 years of age an immediate bump to adult status in California when committing a violent crime?
DemocraticUnderground.com Holds The Torch In Hate Speech
There's a big difference between free speech and hate speech. This, my friends, is the latter.
High Plains (865 posts) Sat Jan-21-06 02:09 PM
Now there's a response to police brutality! On the one hand, one can't condone arson.
On the other hand, I bet the cops in north Georgia think twice before they pepper spray someone to death again. Too bad it's almost impossible to indict, let alone convict, brutal cops.
alcibiades_mystery (1000+ posts) Sat Jan-21-06 02:33 PM
Roscoe P. Coltraine finally got one of those Duke boys good
James Jackson, oldest brother of Clarence Walker, said that his brother angered the police because he often ran away from them.What the hell is going on down there???
High Plains (865 posts) Sat Jan-21-06 02:31 PM
Yes, he did, and a pregnant wife, too. That's why I said one couldn't condone it. But one can sure as hell understand it. And to be honest, I really hope a lot of cops hear about this. Might make 'em pause before they beat somebody to death.
The LAPD Tax Hike
A survey of Los Angeles neighborhood council members found that most support raising taxes to expand the police force, although a substantial number also believe money might be saved by eliminating waste, representatives of the mayor's office said Saturday.
The survey, conducted by the city Department of Neighborhood Empowerment as well as the mayor's office, found that 39% support expanding the police force by 1,000 officers with a half-cent increase in sales tax, and an additional 28% support paying for it with a combination of taxes and efficiencies.
However, a sales-tax measure would require a two-thirds popular vote for approval, and the 67% favorable response in the survey appears to leave little margin for error.
Indeed, those surveyed were the most active and knowledgeable residents, elected by their neighborhoods to serve on the councils, so the results do not necessarily reflect how the average voter will respond.
I think we have a rather simple equation that could keep everyone happy: Spend less, and apply part of that extra savings to the police department. The LAPD was, and always has been, one of the greatest forces in the world. I think it's worth examining areas that a bit of pork can be cut in order to recruit and train more officers.
More Officers, Please
I'm not saying it's perfect, but it's a start. All of us here at The Horseback Riders hate tax hikes, and I that common sense tells us that if we can cut spending in one area to equal the proposed half-cent tax hike to hire more officers, then we should be looking at a winning situation. If the mayor can fix all the potholes for $20 bucks a pop, then finding money for officers should be the last thing we're worried about. The Chief accredited it to better plans of action, but the fact of the matter is that there's more feet on the street. The City of Los Angeles is growing, and it's hard to deny the fact that the police department has to grown to keep up with the needs of the city.
In the toughest part of Los Angeles, that stretch of neighborhoods that fan out from the southern border of the USC campus, more homicides are committed than in any other area of the city. Gangs still roam the streets. And yet there is reason for hope, a sense that things have gotten better.
Swaths of South Los Angeles communities are posting improving crime statistics. In the southwest area of Los Angeles, for instance, police say homicides are down by 21% from 2004 and aggravated assaults have been reduced by almost half, from 2,208 in 2004 to 1,277 as 2005 came to an end. Even shootings are down, by 31%.
And it is not just there.
Take Pacoima, nestled at the base of the mountains in the northern reaches of the city. This once was serious gang country. Its streets remain grimy and most of the buildings could use fresh paint. But here in this working-class suburb, life is looking up, if only by degrees.
"It's not Beverly Hills, but it's a lot nicer," said Edwin Ramirez, the president of Pacoima's neighborhood council.
Although the area has never looked so good, or had so much art and music or so many restaurants and clothing stores, patrons vanish by nightfall. Then the soaring sounds of a saxophone and floating aroma of coffee waft over lonely sidewalks.
Twins Richard and Ron Harris, who opened the popular Lucy Florence Coffee House in 2000, say they measure success by foot traffic, not statistics.
"I don't believe crime is down in this area because there are not enough people walking," Richard Harris said.
While praising the individual officers who work the neighborhood, merchants said the overall relationship with police still needs improvement if crime is to drop in a way that creates a broader sense of security.
"It is our hope that people begin to work more closely with the police, cooperating more with them because there is crime here," Ron Harris said. "I think the community needs to stop looking at LAPD as the enemy."
And the police, he said, need to create the impression they are patrolling to prevent crime, not seeking it out.
Up the street at Gallery Plus, Laura Hendrix, outgoing president of the Leimert Park Merchants' Assn., said she was recently robbed by a customer who gave her a $100 bill, then grabbed both the bill and the change and fled. She used the incident to underline her positive experience with LAPD and pulled a sheaf of business cards with the names and cellphone numbers of police officers from her wallet.
"They were excellent in responding, and I think the relationship with the police is better now than it has been in the past," Hendrix said. What happened to her, however, illustrates the petty crimes that require constant vigilance.
"It's not people breaking in and taking things; it's that you have to always be cautious. You can't slip," Hendrix said.
At the nearby Gwen Bolden Youth Foundation, founder Bolden said a recent breakthrough came when parents of the 150 youths who receive tutoring and other services at the center spent an evening meeting with police.
"The parents could actually see some of the officers and know their names instead of saying 'Who is that cop?' Now it's 'Oh, that's Officer Morales.'