July 12, 2020 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Getting Rid of Armed Metro Guards?

“We cannot rely on an armed police presence for every issue,” says Councilmember Mike Bonin.

By Sam Catanzaro

Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin is calling on LA Metro to get rid of armed law enforcement officers on the nation’s third-largest transit system.

In a motion co-sponsored by County Supervisor Janice Hahn and County Supervisor Hilda Solis, also members of the board, Bonin–a member of the Board of Directors of LA Metro–urged Metro to rethink safety on the transit system, with a goal of creating alternative responses to nonviolent crimes and other offenses. Potential alternatives would include: a transit ambassador program that provides staffed presence at Metro facilities and on Metro vehicles; and social workers, mediators, or mental health professionals.

The Metro Expo Line, which runs through Culver City, has experienced two violent incidents in the past year, it should be noted. In August 2019, a group of teenagers was attacked and robbed by another group of teenagers after getting off a Metro Expo Line train in Culver City. In March of this year, four minors were taken into custody after a Santa Monica man was stabbed in a violent confrontation on the Expo Line in West Los Angeles.

Bonin’s motion comes as jurisdictions around the country are considering similar approaches to public safety. Earlier this week, several of Bonin’s colleagues on the Los Angeles City Council called for a new emergency-response model that uses trained specialists, rather than LAPD officers, to respond to many types of calls, including those regarding homelessness, mental health, and substance abuse issues. Bonin and colleagues also proposed the creation of a City of Los Angeles Office of Violence Prevention.

“Around the country and all over Los Angeles, people are reimagining how to provide public safety,” Bonin said. “Metro needs to be at the forefront of that, and make changes that assure that all of its passengers feel safe. That starts by acknowledging that we cannot rely on an armed police presence for every issue, and we need smarter, more effective solutions.”

Bonin’s motion directs LA Metro to develop the new policies and approaches in consultation with passengers and community members representative of the agency’s ridership, including but not limited to racial, gender, income, geography, immigration status and housing status. It would do so through a Transit Public Safety Advisory Committee, working with LA Metro’s Office of Civil Rights, Executive Officer for Equity & Race, and Executive Officer for Customer Experience.

Bonin noted it was crucial for LA Metro to make changes, given a history of complaints of racial bias in policy, particularly from younger Blacks and Latinos. “For years, Metro has heard that its system of policing was making huge segments of its passengers feel less safe and feel threatened. This is our moment to change that.”

Bonin is also submitting motions, co-sponsored by Solis, in response to a decision by LA Metro to suspend passenger service on May 30, stranding many passengers in the middle of a curfew, and a separate decision the same day to allow Metro buses to be used to transport detainees who had been arrested for curfew violations or failure to disperse during the protests. The motions call for new rules to prohibit the use of vehicles for detainee transport and new protocols regarding suspensions of service.

All three motions are expected to be considered by the full Metro Board of Directors at the Board’s June 25 meeting.

Related Posts

A new way to say Thank You to healthcare workers: Westside Beat – July, 9, 2020

July 9, 2020

July 9, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * A new way to say Thank You to healthcare workers. *...

Edify TV: Veterans Row

July 9, 2020

July 9, 2020

“It’s really devastating. We Veterans serve in this country and this is what we get,” says a U.S. Army Veteran...

Fatal Collision Occurs in Culver City

July 7, 2020

July 7, 2020

By Staff Writer A fatal traffic collision occurred in Culver City Tuesday morning in which police believe that alcohol may...

Video: Santa Monica Mask Fines

July 7, 2020

July 7, 2020

The City of Santa Monica has authorized fines of up to $1,000 for failing to wear a mask. Learn more...

New mixed use development coming to Palms! Westside Beat – July, 6, 2020

July 6, 2020

July 6, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * New mixed use development coming to Palms! *Covid-19 surge creates hospital...

Man Arrested for Stabbing Culver City Mosque Security Guard

July 6, 2020

July 6, 2020

Man attempts to enter Culver City mosque, stabs security guard By Sam Catanzaro Police have arrested a man for stabbing...

Westside Sees Unhealthy Air Quality After Fireworks

July 5, 2020

July 5, 2020

Fireworks continue in LA County despite ban By Sam Catanzaro Air quality throughout most of Los Angeles County ranged from...

Culver City Arson Suspect Arrested Two Days in a Row

July 3, 2020

July 3, 2020

Culver City Police Department (CCPD) same person two days in a row By Sam Catanzaro Culver City police arrested the...

COVID-19 Outbreak at Culver City Police Department

July 2, 2020

July 2, 2020

Multiple CCPD officers test positive for COVID-19 By Sam Catanzaro The Culver City Police Department (CCPD) has announced an outbreak...

LA city council cuts LAPD budget by $150 million: Westside Beat – July, 2, 2020

July 2, 2020

July 2, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Police search for suspects in road rage stabbing. * LA city...

Newsom Orders Indoor Dining Close in LA

July 1, 2020

July 1, 2020

Earlier this week Los Angeles County’s public health director said that almost half of restaurants and bars were not following...

Man Sought Who Aimed Gun at Women at Westfield Culver City

June 30, 2020

June 30, 2020

Man aims gun at two women, lead police on chase that ends in crash By Staff Writer Police continue a...

Video: West Los Angeles VA Tent Row

June 30, 2020

June 30, 2020

What is the deal with the row of tents outside the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus? Learn more in...

LA Health cracks down on bars and restaurants: Westside Beat – June, 29, 2020

June 29, 2020

June 29, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * New development coming to Washington blvd. * LA Health cracks down...

County Reports Nearly 3,000 Coronavirus Cases, Highest Single-Day Tally

June 29, 2020

June 29, 2020

One in every 140 people in the county has the virus and is infectious, say LA County health officials By...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *