Friday, January 9, 2009
Crime Down in LA? The Inconvenient Truth...
While the media headlines Chief Bratton and Mayor Villaraigosa's claims of their successes in reducing crime in LA, the rest of us know better. We see more and more ugly gang graffiti everywhere. As soon as it's painted over, it's back again.
Ask any expert on gangs and they'll tell you that gang graffiti is like an earthquake seismograph, it's a clear sign of what' is actually going on. And the clear sign here is that the gangs are getting bigger, bolder and more at ease in showing their colors, while the Mayor and his followers glad hand each other and try to palm us off with massaged statistics.
Mayoral candidate Walter Moore, a man who isn't afraid of confronting inconvenient truths, wrote a stunning analysis of the true state of crime in LA. I urge you to read it, then contrast what Mr. Moore says with what the Mayor says, or rather doesn't say.
The true statistics published by Chief Bratton show that you and I are almost twice as likely to be murdered here in LA, than if we lived in what was once the murder capitol of the USA; New York City. Yes, the murder rate in Los Angeles is 51% higher than that of New York City. Surely that should be a headline?
The fact is that in the City of Los Angeles, with a population of 4 million, there were 381 murders last year, that's 95.3 per million Los Angelenos. In New York City, with a population of 8.2 million, there were 514 murders in the same period, that's 62.7 per million New Yorkers. Do the math yourself, please don't trust me or Walter Moore. The murder rate in Los Angeles is 51% higher that New York City. Why?
Well we all know why. While we all know that Los Angeles is seriously under policed when compared to New York, and while Mayor Villaraigosa claims he's committed to increasing the number of cops in LA, the facts are wildly opposite to the Mayor's claims. Instead of hiring more cops, he increased his personal staff from 70 to 93 this year. 23 more aides to carry his bottled water, marker pens, pads and his Listerine breath strips.
As Mayor Villaraigosa's personal staff swelled by 23 more acolytes, the Mayor and his lap-dog in waiting, Jack Weiss, applauded a reduction of 26 cops on Westside so that they could be deployed at a new police station. The new police station in Koreatown had been built at a cost of $25M, but no money had been set aside for hiring cops to staff it, so they pulled vitally needed cops from the Westside.
All it would have taken is for the Mayor to suffer the inconvenience "only" having 70 personal assistants, and hired 23 cops to staff the new Koreatown police station. But, the Mayor and Weiss are determined to move on to being Governor and Attorney General, so they need aides more than we need cops.
In the meantime, we have to live (or die) with the inconvenient truth. The Mayor and the person he (only he) wants as his City Attorney, Jack Weiss, are more concerned with their political aspirations than public safety.
On March 3, 2009, you will have a chance to tell Weiss and Villaraigosa what you think of their abysmal lack of commitment to public safety. I urge you; vote Moore for Mayor, and Berger for City Attorney and let's put a stop to pretend play politics.