Unmanned LAPD ‘Copters, City Council Votes to Give LAPD Gen Services Cops & Gov. Brown Won’t Close Youth Prisons After AllMay 16th, 2012 by Celeste Fremon
YES, THE JAILS COMMISSION STORY IS STILL COMING. (COLD-RIDDEN & STILL WRITING.) BUT, IN THE MEANTIME……
LAPD DOESN’T PLAN TO USE UNMANNED COP ‘COPTERS TO LOOK IN YOUR PERSONAL BACKYARD……YET (AREN’T YOU RELIEVED?)
The LA Weekly’s Dennis Romero has the story:
So cops can now fly unmanned aircraft known as drones, which could be used to peek into your backyard and maybe even into your window at night.
So will the LAPD, a pioneer in the use of helicopters for law enforcement, soon be buzzing drones over your house as you smoke your favorite herb and become paranoid with fear?
Not likely, cops tell us:
The department doesn’t really the see the advantage of using unmanned aircraft and has no plans to test them out, at least for now.
In fact, the LAPD’s biggest concern, as it has been in the past, is having its manned helicopter units collide with drones.
But you can chillax.
The man in charge of the LAPD’s Air Support Division, Capt. William D. Sutton, told us the department doesn’t yet see much advantage in using drones. He thinks their safety record isn’t satisfactory yet:
” Back east a department had purchased one and lost control of it. It flew into a vehicle. We’re going to see how it goes.”
The FAA this week said that police departments could test out surveillance drones as long as they’re lighter than 4.4 pounds and fly below a 400 foot ceiling.
Given the city’s budget constraints, the LAPD is no hurry to buy drones, even if the drone-making capital of the nation is right here in Southern California…..
Whew! (For now.)
TUESDAY, CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO FOLD THE GENERAL SERVICES POLICE INTO THE LAPD (DESPITE NEWLY CHALLENGING NAMING ISSUES)
The Daily News Dakota Smith has the story. Here’s a clip:
The Los Angeles Police Department will absorb the General Services police and security officers under a plan approved Tuesday.
The City Council voted unanimously to consolidate the two agencies, transferring the 220 officers and security guards from General Services to the LAPD.
With the move, the LAPD will take on the work of General Services police: patrolling libraries, City Hall offices and other city facilities.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa backed the merger, including the plan in his 2012-2013 budget.
At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Councilman Mitch Englander urged his colleagues to support the consolidation plan.
“This isn’t a divorce, this is a marriage,” Englander said. “And I say, Mazel Tov.”
Currently, General Services’ sworn officers carry guns and patrol the city’s parks, libraries, and City Hall offices and grounds. The security guards protect the Los Angeles Zoo, Convention Center and other facilities.
Following the consolidation – expected to take place July 1 – both groups would fall within a new department called LAPD’s Security Services Division.
Yeah. About that name. “The LAPDSSD” looks a lot like the hissing/yowling noise my cat makes right before coughing up a hairball. Do not even think of messing with the LAPD brand. Not possible. Don’t go there. Really.
JERRY BROWN CHANGES MIND AND DECIDES TO NOT CLOSE YOUTH PRISONS AFTER PRESSURE FROM COUNTIES
This has long been a split decision for most who assessed it, WitnessLA included but, of late, the consensus has been to leave a few of California’s youth prisons open for the thousand or so of the state’s most troubled law-breaking kids, mainly because the counties don’t yet have the facilities or the programs to adequately serve these kids, may of whom have challenging mental and emotional health issues. It appears that Governor Jerry has now come around to this position.
Karne de Sa at the San Jose Mercury News has the story. Here’s a clip:
Responding to pressure from probation chiefs, district attorneys and prison guards, Gov. Jerry Brown has done an about-face on a revolutionary plan to shutter California’s youth prison system that was once the nation’s largest — and arguably the most notorious.
Just four months ago, a small section buried in the governor’s belt-tightening budget caused a massive stir in the juvenile justice world. With annual costs per inmate at about $200,000 and its population down 90 percent from peak years, the youth prison system should stop accepting serious and violent youthful offenders beginning next year, the Brown administration concluded.
For prison reformers who have long battled 23-hour confinement, education in cages and endemic violence, Brown’s Jan. 5 recommendation to eventually shift all the young inmates to county facilities was a startling and welcome move.
But in a revision of the budget released Monday, the governor now calls for upending his previous plan. The change came about after howls of protest from corrections officials, who flooded Sacramento budget hearings with demands that the Division of Juvenile Justice, or DJJ, remain open.
Counties, already struggling with an influx of adult prisoners shifted to their watch under other state budget reforms, simply couldn’t handle these most-difficult youths, they argued. Prosecutors warned that without state-run youth lockups, more juveniles would be sent to adult prisons.
The cost per kid, however, is nuts, and has everything to do with union issues, plus lack of economies of scale, thus has to be rethought. Put another way, it does not—I repeat, NOT—cost more than $200K to house, educate, give programs and health care to, and adequately guard these kids. Period. That money is going elsewhere. If you’d like to know where, I’d start by calling these folks.