|(Feb. 26, 2021) -- Feb. 25 Zoomed "Community Update/Town Hall" conducted by 8th district Councilman Al Austin discussed various topics with no mention of CD 8's 12 shootings (10 with persons hit, 2 with casings found) since Jan. 1.) Cd 8's total is second only to adjoining CD 9/Richardson, which has had 14 shootings (a homicide, plus 11 shootings with persons hit and 2 with no persons hit but casings found.)
CD 8's shootings occurred in the northern (traditional NLB) portions of the Council district adjoining CD 9. When combined the shooting totals in LB's two mainly working class NLB neighborhoods now exceed Central LB's current total (CD1 + CD 6 = 21.) LB's more affluent areas have few or no shootings, which LBREPORT.com has called a chronic inequity (a "tale of two cities.").
Austin was re-elected to a third term in 2018 (avoiding a write-in under Charter Amendment BBB that he supported) and was endorsed by the Long Belch police officers union (LBPOA) and Mayor Robert Garcia; The Council's action wiped out 22 officers restored after LB voters approved the 2016 Measure A sales tax increase on top of 180+ officers defunded between 2009-2015 and not restored.
In March 2020, Austin narrowly outpolled Reform Ticket candidate Juan Ovalle and went on to defeat organized-labor backed Tunua Thrash-Ntuk in a November runoff. Richardson, handily re-elected to a second term in 2018, was chosen in by a Council majority in 2020 as the body's Vice Mayor for the next two years. .
Shooting Crime Scenes Jan 1, 2021 to the present
Red = Homicides. Blue = Persons hit. Yellow = Casings found or vehicle or bldg hit
The City of Long Beach (after Sept. 2020 Council \approverd defunding) currently provides LB taxpayers with a budgeted sworn police level of roughly 1.5 officers per thousand residents (down from 1.6 per thousand.)
By comparison, L.A and Santa Monica budget roughly 2.49 officers per thousand residents (not including LA Airport/Port police.) Signal Hill, surrounded by Long Beach, budgets roughly 3.15 sworn officers per thousand residents for its taxpayers. [** July 2020 update: LA's City Council adopted a FY202-21 budget that reduced funding for LAPD that will produce a budgeted level by summer 2021 of roughly 2.43 officers/thousand.]
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