L.A. City Council Declares Homelessness an Emergency, Earmarks $100 Million for Solutions


Mayor calls for investments in long-term initiatives, and rolls out short-term proposals to address emergency needs.

Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced the first steps of a comprehensive strategy to address the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles, an effort that would invest at least $100 million annually in City funding to help house tens of thousands of homeless individuals.

To address immediate needs, Mayor Garcetti also announced a critical short-term strategy to secure an additional $13 million in emergency funding to expand homeless services and housing. The bulk of that funding, $10 million, will be allocated to veterans and non-chronically homeless people in the form of housing subsidies — to rapidly re-house individuals who need short-term assistance to get off the street and on with their lives. Mayor Garcetti called for shelters to remain open 24 hours a day during the rainy season, and for winter shelter availability to expand by two months. The Mayor also proposed seed money to incentivize new storage and access centers across the city — that would newly provide access to restrooms, showers, laundry, and services, as well as providing safe storage for personal possessions.

This comes as Los Angeles City Council leaders this morning declared homelessness in Los Angeles a “state of emergency” and introduced a motion to allocate $100 million in one-time funding for homeless services. Read more »

LAPD Devonshire Division’s Catalytic Converter Task Force Busts Dishonest Metal Recyclers


Yesterday, I was proud to join the Los Angeles Police Department to announce the arrest of five suspects and the confiscation of thousands of dollars in stolen property. This was the result of a 6 month investigation by the LAPD/Operations Valley Bureau’s (OVB) Catalytic Converter Task Force (CCTF).

The CCTF was formed to combat catalytic converter thefts occurring throughout San Fernando Valley. Catalytic converters are targeted by thieves because they contain precious metals such as platinum, rhodium, and/or palladium.

Detectives learned that victims would start their vehicles and then notice loud sounds originating from underneath their vehicles. After inspecting the vehicles, the victims found that their catalytic converter had been cut from the exhaust system. Victims found that the average cost to replace and repair the exhaust system was approximately $1,700.00.

During the investigation, nearly a dozen catalytic converter thieves were arrested and charged with felony grand theft.The CCTF has worked closely with the Los Angeles County District Attorney Office, Los Angeles City Attorney-Environmental Crimes Section, Internal Revenue Services, State Franchise Tax Board, and National Insurance Crime Bureau.

The stolen property included:

  • 9 pallets of stolen Catalytic converters, estimated to contain 500-1000 catalytic converters
  • 3 rifles-(AK style assault weapons)
  • 1 shotgun
  • 3 handguns
  • 2 vehicles

Not only do the victims of these types of crime incur this expense, but for many, their personal vehicle is their only mode of transportation to get to work. This crime effects the livelihood of the victims. I am proud of our LAPD Devonshire Division and the Catalytic Converter Task Force for putting these criminals behind bars.

Click here to read the Daily News story.

Mitchell Englander, Chair of the Public Safety Committee 

Help Keep the Street Lights on in Your Neighborhood


There has been a significant increase of copper wire thefts targeting the city’s street lighting system in various neighborhoods, causing street lights to go dark for a period of time. If you observe a wire theft in process or see any suspicious activity around street lights, please call 9-1-1 immediately.

How to determine what is official city work on street lights and what isn’t?
  • The work is valid if there a yellow Street Lighting maintenance vehicle on the street. The vehicle should have a city seal, the words “Street Lighting” on the doors and the word “Exempt” on its license plate.
  • The work is valid if there is street lighting staff working on a light. They will be wearing and orange vest, hard hat and city identification.
  • The work is valid if it is being performed by Bureau of Street Lighting contractors working on streetlights. The names of their companies will be identified on their vehicles.
  • Anything else is suspicious and should be reported by calling 9-1-1 immediately.

Click here for an English- and Spanish-language flyer to pass out in your neighborhood.

Police Warn Angelenos About Phone Scam Operation

ssam alert

The LAPD is alerting the public about a recent rash of phone scams that seek ransom for taking family members hostage.

According to the police, the victims are contacted by a suspect who states they are holding a family member hostage. The caller then demands money to be wired, threatening they will kill or hurt the hostage. The scammers then advise the victim withdraw money from an ATM and send send it via wire services.  Other variations of the extortion include the caller contacting miscellaneous businesses for “protection money.”

Below are crime prevention tips from the LAPD to avoid falling victim to this scam:
  • Incoming calls made from an outside area code or country;
  • Callers go to great lengths to keep you on the phone, insisting you remain on the line;
  • Calls do not come from the victim’s phone;
  • Callers try to prevent you from contacting the “Kidnapped” victim;
  • Multiple successive phone calls;
  • Demands for ransom money to be paid via wire transfer;
  • Be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason;
  • Never give out personal or financial information to anyone who emails or calls you unsolicited; and
  • Never wire money, provide debit or credit card numbers to someone you do not know.
Anyone with information or questions regarding this crime should call Crime Stoppers at 800.222-8477. Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 or go to “webtips” on LAPDOnline.org.

LA City Sidewalk Vending Survey


The City of Los Angeles is conducting a survey to gather community input with respect to vending on City sidewalks and in City parks. The Los Angeles Municipal Code prohibits vending on sidewalks and is considered a misdemeanor and vending in City parks is only allowed with a permit.

For clarification purposes, please be aware that sidewalk vending only pertains to stationary and/or mobile carts situated on the sidewalk. Food trucks or pull carts parked on the street or parking spaces are not included as part of this survey.

If this is a topic of interest or concern to you, you may wish to respond to the survey which can be found at: http://sidewalkvending.lacity.org/html/Survey.html

Era of LAPD Body Cameras to Start Monday


The first LA police officers will begin wearing body cameras on Monday as city leaders look for funding to outfit all cops with them.

Starting Monday, body cameras will be handed out to Los Angeles police officers at the Mission Station — the first of 860 cameras that will be distributed to officers in three divisions.

Officers at the Mission Division will be the first to get training on the cameras, followed by officers at the Newton Division on Sept. 15 and the Central traffic and specialized divisions on Sept. 28, LAPD Chief Information Officer Maggie Goodrich told the Police Commission.

Goodrich said the department spent the past few months installing the network and infrastructure for the body cameras.

LAPD officials chose a Taser body camera that is designed to be worn on the chest.

The cameras were donated to the department through the Los Angeles Police Foundation.

Mayor Eric Garcetti has also called for a $10 million plan to outfit the entire police department with body cameras. The City Council earlier this year approved a budget that allocates half of the funding needed to purchase 7,000 additional cameras. Officials are applying for federal grants to pay for the other half of the camera purchase costs.

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