|(April 8, 2021, 9:10 a.m.) -- Within the past two days, two neighborhoods in Councilwoman Mary Zendejas' 1st Council district have experienced shootings. LBPD PIO Brandon Fahey tells LBREPORT.com:
As previously reprted by LBEEPORT.com, on April 2 the WLB portion of Zendejas CD 1 district had a double shooting (Summit/Canal) which included a homicide (CD 1's third homicide since Jan. 1.)
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As of April 8, in total shootings (persons wounded + persons killed + casings found/vehicle/bldg struck), Zendejas' district had 17, exceeded by adjoining CD 6 (Saro) with 20 and tied NLB's CD 9 (Richardson) with 17.
Zendejas,was elected in a no-runoff November 2019 special election, bolstered by campaign contributions by the LB Police Offices union, Mayor Robert Garcia and immediate past CD 1 incumbent (now state Senator) Lena Gonzalez.. Zendejas recently formed a fundraising committee to seek re-election in 2022
Councilwoman Zendejas was among LB Councilmembers who urged defunding 48 more officers in Sept. 2020 (FY 21 budget vote was 9-0) on top of 180+ defunded in budgets from 2009-2014) and not restored despite LB voters' passage of the 2016 "Measure A" ("blank check") sales tax increase. The officers defunded in FY 13 by the former Council that included then 1st dist. Councilman Garcia included LBPD's former 22-member field anti-gang unit, not restored in budgets recommended since 2014 by Mayor Garcia. (LBREPORT.com detailed coverage here.)
The net result (including the 2009-2015 defunding of roughly 200 officers) has left LB with a thin per capita police level of roughly 1.5 officers per thousand residents.) By comparison, L.A and Santa Monica budget roughly 2.43 and 2.49 officers per thousand residents respectively (not including LA Airport/Port police.) Signal Hill, surrounded by Long Beach, budgets roughly 3.15 sworn officers per thousand residents for its taxpayers.
In response to recent shootings disproportionately paguing her working class Council district, Councilwoman Zendejas didn't move to restore officers but requested a report from Police Chief Luna. The report was never agendized for Council discussion or action. It attributed increased shootings in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, didn't mention the word "gangs' and didn't mention the Council's record on reducing/faling to restore officers.
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