Westchester Playa Safety Forum

Packed house for Safety Forum
Packed house for Safety Forum

A Westchester/ Playa Public Safety Town Hall was recently held featuring Councilman Mike Bonin and various law enforcement agencies. I wanted to share a couple of my takeaways from the event.

First, Mike Bonin monitors social posts and hears what we’re saying about crime. He says that we need to insist on more officers for our area. Our complaints reinforce his insistence at budget time that we need more support. He’s working on a plan to institute a “constant staffing” model similar to what the fire department uses. Complaining on NextDoor and other social media platforms is not helpful. Calls, emails and letters to his office are.

Second, Pacific Division Captain Nicole Alberca wants us to know that Pacific Division leads the entire city in crime reduction. Our Senior Lead Officer covering Westchester west of Sepulveda, Ruben Garcia, leads Pacific Division in crime reduction.

Third, US Postal Inspector Gerry Ramirez says that all of SoCal is experiencing big mail crime problems due to meth and other drug addiction issues. He advises not leaving personal mail in home mailboxes overnight and not dropping mail in blue street corner and post office boxes after the last posted pick up.

Fourth, Angel Gomez, Pacific Division Detective for property crimes, encourages victims and witnesses to stay involved in cases through trial or the criminal will go free. He also wants people to know that detectives carry heavy caseloads. They want to help, but can’t without evidence and active witnesses. He also wants us to know that we need to lock our homes and cars. A drug addict only needs $5 to secure a high, and will steal your loose change. He also shared a story about a local family who were gone 20 minutes and within that time, a girl crawled through an unlocked window and made off with $25K in valuables in 10 minutes.

Finally, a question from the floor elicited the following about LAPD response times: Calls are prioritized – Code 3 is a crime in progress and the average response time with lights and sirens is 6 minutes; Code 2 is no imminent danger and the average response time (no lights, no sirens) is 18 minutes; Uncoded calls (barking dogs, etc.) have an average response time of 41 minutes. These are Pacific Division times and are all well under the average LA City times. 911 calls do NOT go to the Pacific Division station. They go to a dispatch center in the Valley and the operator may or may not be familiar with our area. Be prepared to provide additional details as needed.

Did you attend the event? Did I miss any other big points? Please share in the comments.