Monday, February 08, 2016

Crime Stats - Los Angeles vs. Costa Mesa

Over the past few days the Los Angeles-based media has been peppering the airwaves with news about the dramatic increase in crime in Los Angeles.  Horrified politicians wring their hands because it's up 10% - and rightfully so.  That's a significant number and should cause concern for anyone living in or visiting that city.  In response we heard LAPD Chief Charlie Beck tell reporters that he had reassigned his elite Metro Division to work on targeted areas.  He also said part of the solution to the problem, which he attributed in part due to Prop. 47 and AB 109 releases, was to add a couple thousand more cops to his 10,000 already on board.

Contrast this to Costa Mesa, where our crime rate as of December 31, 2015, was up 33%.  And you can just take a peek at this chart and realize this is NOT a new situation. (click on the image to enlarge it)
New Police Chief Rob Sharpnack has told us in recent months of his plans to improve things and it all sounds just fine.  The only problem is, we are so far behind the curve in our recruitment that it will take most of this year - at least - to get the headcount back to the arbitrarily-diminished level imposed on the CMPD by the current council majority.  We're down 20 officers, so if we snag two or three per Academy class and don't lose any more officers to retirements or departures to other jurisdictions, we just might make it back to the authorized headcount by the end of the year.
However, having bodies behind the steering wheels of our cruisers doesn't solve the problem.  It takes months for a new officer to gain even the minimal skills to patrol alone.
And, by the way, five of our current positions are "grant" positions - and the grants are about to expire.  That eliminates those slots unless a way can be found to authorize them beyond the expiration date.
In the meantime, Prop. 47 will continue to negatively impact our city, as will the early-releases as a result of AB109.  And, of course, our homeless population - up a reported 45% - will continue to be problematic.  And that issue is complicated by the growing number of sober living homes in our city.  When "clients" fail in one of those places there apparently is not mechanism to ship those failures back to their homes in other states.  So, they become one of our homeless individuals and, worse, they typically are now back using whatever their drug of choice happened to be.
As we move forward in what is likely to be the most contentious campaign season in Costa Mesa history, it will be important to think about this issue and to remember who is responsible for a big chunk of it.  There are plenty of campaign issues this time around, but in my view, the rising crime rate and diminished police force is right at the top.

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Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

When will Riggy and Mensy take responsibility for the crime rate rise?

2/08/2016 05:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

"Mens-heimer" needs to man up and fix what it/they broke.

2/08/2016 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

Arthur Nern - the answer is never. They will blame Democrats in Sacramento, even though Prop. 47 was just that - a proposition voted on by the people. They will blame unions, and they will even find a way to blame Wendy Leece. They see the world through lenses that make all their actions correct and everyone else's wrong. That's why they know how they'll vote before city council meetings. Public comments are just window dressing. And facts - who needs facts!

2/08/2016 12:04:00 PM  
Anonymous davidonlorenzo said...

I fear that our Chief of Police is afraid that he will lose his job if he says anything that criticizes the council majority. Isn't he pissed off that they are still suing the C.M.P.O.A.? I am. I donate money to the C.M.P.O.A. every year and I don't think it should be wasted on attorney's fees for this frivolous lawsuit. Furthermore, I am bothered by the lack of traffic law enforcement. Speeding, running red lights, reckless driving, and most important, DUI's are not being enforced strongly enough due to the lack of personnel.

2/08/2016 05:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Sadly, as I sit here I hear sirens for the third time tonight. I hate what I see in town now. Cops that cannot respond to issue that need dire attention, drugs running rampant, Unitedneighbors reports every week on how many cars were stolen/broken into, etc. The sober living homes that Rig's office mate, Scott Baugh, lobbied for here in Costa Mesa have brought high crime, more drugs and 45% rise in homelessness Probably unforeseen problems by Baugh, but problems nonetheless. They made their money, to hell with the rest of us. "Let's just build more boxes", they say. Better people will come Guess what? They aren't... What is coming is AirBNB rentals which really do nothing for our city.

We need to get rid of "Mensheimer" and start fresh with a new and BETTER council majority. Silence Righeimer once and for all and let's attempt to get this town back on track.

2/08/2016 07:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

David, I couldn't agree more. I've watched time after time as officers do not respond to incidents that happen right in front of them, but opt to look the other way because they can't afford to be taken out of commission long enough to write a ticket. This angers me a lot. But I understand there is nothing they can do. Our only hope is to get rid of the majority and hope we can attract enough officers to start to make a difference.

2/08/2016 08:37:00 PM  

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