When I spoke to Chief Braton at the Town Hall meeting on the planned reduction in police services to the Westside, I told him I was a huge fan of his, but that after he heard what I had to say, he might not be a fan of mine!
The Chief took it well, but would not budge from his position; he will not delay opening the new police stations, and that means 26 less police officers on the Westside.
I was not alone in condemning the politicians who have allowed this potentially disastrous state of affairs to exist. Richard G. Cohen, chair of the Pacific Palisades Community Council spoke passionately and directly to the Chief, demanding a change in this plan, pointing out that valuable Westside property was being put at risk, and challenging the "7 minute response time" claimed by Chief Bratton.
Another critic of Bratton's plan was Jay Handal of the West LA Chamber of Commerce, and owner of the San Gennaro Cafe. Jay's had first hand experience of the risks faced by Westside residents; he was robbed at gunpoint at his Brentwood restaurant. Jay also disputed LAPD's "7 minute response time," and was one of many in the crowded meeting to condemn Jack Weiss and other elected officials for spending $50M on two new police stations while lacking the foresight to provide funding to staff them.
The hero of the evening? My vote goes to Bill Rosendahl, Councilmember for City District 11, who had the guts to face the public and let them have their say.
Needless to say, Jack Weiss, Councilmember for City District 5, who has spoken in favor of the planned reduction in police services, and whose residents are equally at risk, was not at the meeting. He was too busy fundraising with Ron Galperin, who hopes to take over from Weiss in the March election.
Anyone who thinks Jack Weiss is suitable for the Office of City Attorney needs to listen to the outright public condemnation of his imperious, unaccountable and out of touch style of candidacy.