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LBPD Costs Are High Per Capita

From Issue: Volume XX - Number 22
11/2/2012


By Les Robbins

For the last couple of weeks I have been attempting to get some basic information regarding the current LBPD calls for service policy from Councilwoman Schipske. Unfortunately she apparently has no idea what the policy is and/or has been unable to get it from anyone on the police department.

I even asked her to direct me to someone on the police department who could give me a short and concise answer to my questions. I have a deadline for my article so this information may have to wait for another time.

I am sure that the budget cuts for the police department have been significant and that those reductions have impacted the calls for service policy of those assigned to the various patrol divisions. I have second hand knowledge, coming from some of my neighbors, that would indicate that there has been a reduction in the instances in which the police department will dispatch a marked radio car to someone’s residence or business.

My questions had to do with what specific changes had been made and just what the current policy and criteria is. It would seem that this information is not easily obtained. I know by my own observations that it would seem that we have more than enough black and white radio cars out here in the 5th District.

Just in the past week I have seen two different vehicle accidents in which I counted at least a half dozen black and white patrol vehicles at each scene. These were not accidents that appeared to involve more than two vehicles and the injuries did not appear to be life threatening. Fire apparatus were present at both of these accident scenes but that is a pretty normal occurrence, or at least it should be. My curiosity gets the best of me when I see this reaction to a vehicle collision but I then learn that we do not dispatch a black and white to calls such as vehicle thefts.

I also found it interesting that the LBPD is lobbying so hard to take over security on the Blue Line. Being somewhat familiar with the process that is undertaken by the MTA when they award the contracts for security within their system, I find it very difficult to envision any bid from the LBPD being competitive with that which would come from the Sheriff’s Department.

This is due in significant part to the fact that the personnel costs of the LBPD are much greater than those from the Sheriff’s Department, due primarily to the fact that the pension costs for the City of Long Beach are double those of the County of Los Angeles. I am not sure how you can put forth a competitive bid that will give you anywhere near the same number of personnel assigned to the system with such a large disparity in personnel costs.

Carrying this even one step further, I also find it fascinating that somehow the LBPD people feel that they can keep bad guys from riding the trains. There is this thing called the U.S. Constitution that does apply to everyone even those who are gang bangers.
Also I find it fascinating that somehow we have folks within our police department who think that all of the bad guys who come downtown are outside Long Beach.

Hello out there, but the last time I checked, the gang population of this city was in the thousands. Anyway, at a time when we cannot seem to get a black and white police car response to the theft of our vehicles we are busy trying to take on additional responsibilities. I would be willing to bet big bucks that the per capita costs for our police department are still among the very highest found anywhere in Los Angeles County.
les@longbeachcomber.com

Editor’s Note: Schipske fires back at Les on her website claiming he is sending emails to her personal account, which is not checked that often. To read Schipske’s “love letter” to Les, dated yesterday, go to http://www.gerrieschipske.com/2012/11/playing-gottcha-doesnt-help-anyone.html.

A June 2012 study conducted for the City of Long Beach by Management Partners shows that the LBPD costs ($400 per capita) are among the highest when compared with California cities of comparable size. The median cost is $286. Oakland’s is $392, Santa Ana’s is $319, San Diego’s is $298 and Anaheim is at the median cost of $286.

That same study shows that Long Beach’s number of sworn officers per 1,000 population is 1.84 compared to a median of 1.43 in comparably sized cities. Oakland follows at 1.61, Fresno 1.52, San Diego 1.49. At and below the median level are Sacramento 1.43, Santa Ana 1.24, Anaehim 1.02 and Bakersfield 1.02.