For the next week the LA Mayor’s Office staff is participating in #TeamVillaraigosa as part of Summer Night Lights – We’re giving back the community and taking part in a great program that’s reducing crime. Mayor Villaraigosa kicked things off last night in Jim Gilliam Park! Send us your Summer Night Lights pics and we’ll post our favorites!
Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going: Keeping Los Angeles Safe
Safety doesn’t happen by accident. And it is no accident that the Los Angeles of today is the safest it’s been since the Eisenhower administration. The dedicated and brave men and women who protect our city every day have a lot to be proud of, and we thank them for their service.
When I was elected Mayor of Los Angeles, we promised to take on the big challenges and make the tough choices: grow our economy, improve our schools and keep our neighborhoods safe. From day one we knew that communities couldn’t flourish and businesses wouldn’t create jobs if our residents didn’t feel secure. Public safety had to be our priority.
In the year I took office, Los Angeles experienced over 30,000 violent crimes, nearly 500 murders and 112,000 plus property crimes. That’s more than 140,000 Angelenos who were victimized. Crime was too high and the city wasn’t doing its part.
We changed that. Last year, L.A. experienced less than 20,000 violent crimes, less than 300 murders and 84,000 property crimes. Homicides have been reduced by 41 percent and violent crime by 40.6 percent.
In a historically under-policed city, we started by increasing the size of the LAPD and began an innovative gang reduction program. Today, gang violence is down and L.A. is safer than it has been since the 1950s.
We initiated a new partnership between the LAPD and the community. This partnership changed the culture of policing in Los Angeles and enshrined constitutional policing as the bedrock principle of the LAPD. We recruited a new generation of officers and we now have a force that reflects the many different communities it serves.
We didn’t want to repeat the mistakes of the past. So we placed a premium on innovation and overhauled our approach to gang reduction. Working in partnership with the community, we developed our Gang Reduction and Youth Development Office (GRYD). Today, this comprehensive strategy is a national model.
The idea behind our gang reduction plan is simple — carefully target resources to communities most in need to significantly reduce gang-related crimes. The approach is comprised of 17 strategies including crisis response, employment and working directly with families to engage multiple generations in reducing gang activity. As a direct result of our GRYD efforts, neighborhoods that were once no-go zones have a new found sense of community and hope; gang-related crime in GRYD zones is down nearly 30 percent.
One of the hallmark programs of GRYD is Summer Night Lights (SNL), which today operates in 32 parks across L.A. Launched five years ago, half of the funding for SNL comes from corporations and philanthropy from all across the city. People understand that what happens in a park in Pacoima touches us all.
The result is a safer city for all Angelenos, a city where residents can feel secure to send their kids to school, interact with their neighbors and enjoy their local parks.
Overall crime is down — and these are reductions from already historically low numbers. Since this time last year, Part 1 crime is down 2.4 percent, violent crime is down 8.8 percent, property crime is down one percent and gang crime is down 16.2 percent.
Despite budget cuts, we’ve made sure the LAPD has the force it needs to serve and protect our City. And we’ve continued our commitment to our gang reduction strategy.
Most importantly, we’ve shown that smart approaches to public safety can work. Los Angeles is living proof of that.
Together, we have made significant progress, revitalizing Los Angeles and making our city a safer place to live, work and visit.
While we are encouraged by these numbers, we have to stay vigilant. We must maintain our resolve to keep LAPD strong and to continue the tremendous strides we’ve made in crime reduction for the benefit of all Angelenos. Because danger never takes a vacation and neither should our drive to protect the city’s most valuable asset — our people.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is the 41st Mayor of the City of Los Angeles. Elected in 2005, his second term ends June 30, 2013. This is the second in a series about the future of Los Angeles.
Op-Ed by Mayor Villaraigosa: Safety doesn’t happen by accident. And it is no accident that the Los Angeles of today is the safest it’s been since the Eisenhower administration. The dedicated and brave men and women who protect our city every day have a lot to be proud of, and we thank them for their service.
But getting Los Angeles from where it was at the turn of the century to where it is today — and to where the mayor wants to see it in the future — was and is quite a lift. Especially when faced with a skeptical public and a court that places form over function.
The Los Angeles City Council voted 14-0 to prohibit the sale of medical cannabis in retail establishments. However, exemptions will allow patients to continue growing marijuana for their own use, and primary caregivers may continue to distribute the drug.
As early as next week, the Los Angeles City Council is expected to weigh in on USC’s $1 billion proposed redevelopment plan, and neighbors of the university are asking city officials to make sure that plan includes some of the provisions they want.
Officials envision the renovated space stretching from the Music Center to City Hall as a draw for both nearby residents and the region. Experts says it’s an open question whether Grand Park will be widely embraced.
The California Secretary of State released the official list of measures on the November ballot, their titles and the order in which they will appear to voters.
The new law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, lets drivers park at broken meters for the posted time limit without the threat of a ticket unless – as in much of Los Angeles – there are other posted restrictions.
CBS looks at how LA’s Summer Night Lights has engaged the community and reduced crime.
City officials said without bankruptcy, San Bernardino - saddled with a budget deficit of at least $40 million - could miss next month’s payroll.
The city is introducing a pilot program in about 10 locations. It hopes to eventually expand it to nearly 12,000 kiosks throughout the five boroughs. The signal would extend out a couple of hundred feet.