' Long Beach Mayor Garcia Boasts Crime Is Down, Blames Social Networks For Public's Perception That It Isn't; The Next Day A Man Is Fatally Shot In Central LB

News / Perspective

Long Beach Mayor Garcia Boasts Crime Is Down, Blames Social Networks For Public's Perception That It Isn't; The Next Day, A Man Is Fatally Shot In Central LB

LBREPORT.com is reader and advertiser supported. Support independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.
(Aug. 22, 2017, 5:05 a.m.) -- Mayor Robert Garcia has told a public meeting that crime in Long Beach is decreasing in almost every major category, is lower than it was ten, twenty or thirty years ago, and said some residents don't believe this because residents now use social media to share information about crimes in their neighborhoods more frequently than in the past.

Allowed to present roughly fifteen minutes of non-agendized remarks to LB's Parks & Recreation Commission, Mayor Garcia -- currently seeking re-election -- boasted that as of that day Long Beach had only 13 homicides. A few hours later, a man was shot to death in the 1900 block of Myrtle Ave., roughly two blocks from Martin Luther King, Jr. Park in the 1900 block of Lemon Ave. [LBREPORT.com coverage here.]

[Scroll down for further.]

Mayor Garcia entered the Parks & Recreation Commission's midmorning Aug. 17 meeting accompanied by a number of his City Hall office staffers. The majority of his remarks, delivered without notes, didn't deal with parks or recreation matters. They recited reasons why, in his view, the city is [in his words] "doing great." Among them, Mayor Garcia cited increased port cargo, downtown economic development, jobs...and crime.



LBREPORT.com provides the portion of the Mayor's remarks regarding crime in Long Beach below .

Mayor Garcia: ...[After discussing the local economy and jobs] ...So data on the economy [is] very strong. Let me also just share some data around public safety.

And we all know that public safety is not just about policing. Public safety is about ensuring that kids have something to do, that they have a safe park to go to, that there's libraries that are open, it's a whole continuum of services. Again, let's look at the data.

From a public safety perspective, Long Beach today is safer than it was ten or twenty or thirty years ago. So, I'll give you one statistic. We know that every time that there is a homicide it's a real human being, and it's a horrible thing that happens, and there's a family behind that. But we also know that there's less and less that happen here in the city. This year I think we're at about 13. Last year at this point we were at about 16 or 17 and that was a historic low of homicides. Overall crime this year is less than it was last year and last year was a historic low of crime.

Just to give you an example, the City of Baltimore, which is not that much larger than Long Beach, has had 200+ homicides up to this point. And so we, in Long Beach, we were at the most, we were a high about 15 years ago we were averaging 100+, 115, 120 homicides in Long Beach. We're at 13 today as of this point in the year.

And so when you look at overall crime, it's also decreasing in almost every category. Now let me say that there is something that's different though. People will hear about crime more today, and I think it's important for us to recognize that the difference is when often times I'll say, 'Oh year, Long Beach is dramatically safer today than it was ten years ago, twenty years ago' someone will say, 'Are you sure?' I say 'absolutely.' The difference is, when someone stole a bike form your neighbor two blocks down the street ten years ago, you never heard about it. When someone stole the bike from your neighbor two blocks from now, you hear about it on Facebook, on Nextdoor, everyone's talking about it online. And so we're more aware of crime than we ever have been, but there's certainly not more.

So that is something I think that's really important is that, to me, basic functions of government the most importantly is public safety and ensuring that people have access to good jobs and those are really positive developments...



Mayor Garcia made other newsworthy statements during this Aug. 16 Parks and Recreation Commission remarks. As previously reported by LBREPORT.com, he signaled that in his view, the city needs to "densify" [his word] downtown, along the Midtown Specific Plan area, parts of Central LB and NLB (where he said it would be appropriate). [LBREPORT.com coverage here.]

The next day, multiple neighborhood groups testified at LB's Planning Commission in opposition to an advancing city staff proposal to change LB land uses in ways that would invite increased density and building heights in parts of Long Beach that Mayor Garcia had recommended. The Commission voted (4-1) to recommend additional public input before bringing the issue to the City Council.

A day later, Mayor Garcia asked staff to seek additional public input before bringing the matter to the Council. The net effect created a new timeline that could delay the issue coming to the Council (five of whose members are seeking re-election along with Garcia) until after the close of the candidate filing period in early January and perhaps until after April 2018 elections.




blog comments powered by Disqus

Recommend LBREPORT.com to your Facebook friends:

Follow LBReport.com with:




Return To Front Page

Contact us: mail@LBReport.com

Adoptable pet of the week:

Carter Wood Floors
Hardwood Floor Specialists
Call (562) 422-2800 or (714) 836-7050

Copyright © 2017 LBReport.com, LLC. All rights reserved. Terms of Use/Legal policy, click here. Privacy Policy, click here