Wednesday, July 06, 2005

 

Website: LASD murder highlights

The LASD has a new website that highlights murders across Los Angeles county, as Kevin Roderick points out on his website that details the specifics of the project.
Sheriff Lee Baca has launched LACountyMurders.com, a website to publicize homicide stats and spread information about suspects and victims. There is an edge of scare tactic about it. The site's purpose, it says, is "educate the citizens of Los Angeles County of the potential violence that lurks within every community in this county."
I think this is great. It's unfortunate that people don't realize how many murders occur in LA county. As it stands right now, most police agencies are overburdened with the amount of investigations their homicide and robbery/homicide bureaus are working, and relief isn't anywhere in sight. I see more cases come in on a daily basis that need attention, but the fact of the matter is that the manpower isn't there to handle them, and budgeting doesn't allow for more LEO's to be hired. Public awareness of the amazingly high rate of crime in Los Angeles county is one of the only forms of a forward-deployable offensive that we can rely on right now, and the dynamic statistics on this webpage that highlight the crime statistics should help raise the idea in peoples heads that we are up against the wall right now.

There's a great quote from a Los Angeles Times article about LASD detectives that was written back in 1977. I've heard various quotes from this article via word of mouth storytelling, but this is the first time that I've seen it in print.
“You want to know why the Sheriff’s conviction rate is so much higher in homicide, not just last year, but for several years? It is because the guys from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau are a bunch of bulldogs.”

“From the time they are called to the murder scene, until we prosecutors get the case through the courts, they never let go....and I mean on every murder case, not just the high publicity cases....”

“They are routinely tenacious, and the investigator assigned to the case sticks with it until the end. There is no shuttling cases to somebody else... . With the Sheriff’s people, if you need follow-up done, they are marvelous; they are super. They even give you their home phone numbers in volunteering to help out.”
That is how crime used to be fought. Detectives would stay on the case until it was solved, and the public would do their best to help the investigating officers. These days, the citizens who the officers are helping instantly pick up the phone and dial their local two-bit lawyer once their emergency dies down, in order to find out how much money they can make off a false police brutality charge.

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