|(April 12, 2018, 7:38 p.m.) -- Five male suspects (unclear if adults or juveniles) robbed a family-owned restaurant and its workers at gunpoint last night (April 11), allegedly putting guns to the heads of at least some of the employees in the 5800 block of Cherry Ave.
The armed robbery to the business, with customers inside, occurred in the southern part of NLB's 9th Council district (Richardson) not far from its South St. border with the 8th district (Austin).
LBPD Public Information Officer Arantxa Chavarria says officers were dispatched to the 5800 block of Cherry Ave. regarding an armed robbery to a business [NBC4 says it was the Tacos Mexico restaurant] where five male subjects wearing ski masks entered the business with at least some of the suspects wielding guns. After robbing the business along with several employees, the suspects fled the scene with no arrests reported at this point...and LBPD's investigation is ongoing.
[Scroll down for further.]
Since mid-2014, budgets recommended by Mayor Robert Garcia and approved by the City Council (including 9th dist. Councilman/Vice Mayor Richardson) have restored 17 out of 208 citywide deployable police officers, leaving LB taxpayers without 191 officers for citywide deployment that LB had but no longer has.
[Some elected officials, including Mayor Garcia, have tried to inflate this figure as close to 50 by including 30 "full time equivalent" officers (roughly 12 officers per 24 hour period per seven day week) that LBPD provides to Metro under a 2017 contract by using current officers' overtime. The Metro contract benefits LB by providing a Metro-paid LBPD-presence along the LB portion of Blue Line...but it provides LB with zero additional officers in neighborhoods citywide beyond the Blue Line. It is simply inaccurate to portray the Metro-paid Blue Line deployed officers in counting officers restored by the Council for neighborhood police responses citywide (which remain only 17 citywide deployable officers restored out of 208 erased.)]
In June 2016, LB voters approved a Mayor/Council sought General Fund ("blank check") sales tax increase that has resulted in LB taxpayers paying the highest sales tax rate among all CA cities (shared with only a few others locally.) The Council has used the $40+ million annual sales tax cash infusion to restore Fire Engine 8 (Belmont Shore), Paramedic Rescue 12 (NLB) and schedule multiple infrastructure and street and sidewalk repair projects. However the sales tax cash infusion also effectively freed up other General Fund sums that the Council used for other items, including raises for multiple city employee groups, including city managers.
During their recent re-election campaigns, neither Mayor Garcia, nor Vice Mayor Richardson nor Public Safety Committee chair Councilwoman Suzie Price made any publicly stated commitments of which we are aware to restore any further specific number of LB citywide deployable police officers by any date certain. Still gone: LBPD's former field anti-gang unit (that previously deployued 22 sworn officers in gang plagued areas, but was partially erased in City Hall's FY13 budget and completedly erased in FY14.)
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