|(Jan. 31, 2018, 12:30 p.m.) -- Long Beach had 250 LBPD-documented shootings in 2017, compared to 275 in 2016, with salient details below. The number of LB shootings aren't released by LBPD because (like most other police agencies) LBPD publicly displays federal crime reporting categories that classify shootings within "aggravated assaults" (a category that can include a number of crimes.) LBREPORT.com requested the shooting numbers from LBPD under the CA Public Records Act after Mayor Robert Garcia held a
LBPD's shooting data show that LBPD documented shootings (excluding accidental, suicide and officer-involved) decreased 9% from 2016 to 2017. Shootings classified as attempted murders declined from 138 to 107 (down 22.4%).
Regarding "246" shootings (CA Penal Code section 246 refers to shootings at an inhabited dwelling or occupied vehicle), shootings at residences increased from 22 to 27, shootings that struck vehicles decreased from 32 to 22, shootings that struck businesses declined from 6 to 4, and "no hit" 246 shootings increased from 47 to 59.
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To these official statistics, LBREPORT.com adds this perspective:
Although Long Beach PD (and the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept.) don't routinely list the number of shootings in their crime stats, the City of Los Angeles' LAPD does. LAPD's routinely available crime stat updates separately list "shots fired" and "shooting victims" (screen-save below from page on LAPD's website).
LBPD routinely responds to inquiries by media outlets about shootings, and LBREPORT.com has used those shootings to create unofficial maps showing where shootings and stabbings have occurred over time. They show what LBREPORT.com has repeatedly called a "tale of two cities," in which poor and working class LB neighborhoods disproportionately endure shootings while middle class and affluent areas remain virtually untouched.
In 2017, our unofficial tally of LBPD confirmed shootings occurred in parts of LB's 1st Council district (north of downtown/west-central) and 6th Council district (central LB). Over half of 59 shootings we reported in 2017 (fatal, non-fatal and no-hit) took place in 1st Council district and the 6th Council district or in areas bordering the two districts.
LBREPORT.com individually confirmed each shooting tallied below but we may have missed some so our numbers below are unofficial and (we believe for reasons stated below) are likely under-counted. In 2017, LBREPORT.com reported:
In addition, LBREPORT.com believes the number of officially-reported LB shootings is likely under-counted -- not wilfully misreported by LBPD but simply undercounted as a factual matter. This is because LB's Mayor, City Council and LBPD management have resisted budgeting the high tech "ShotSpotter" gunfire location system. The system's manufacturer says it documents all gunfire, including instances -- like the two shooting incidents reported by ABC7 -- when shots were fired that residents may not report and officers may not learn about on their own. ShotSpotter's manufacturer says that when cities deploy the system, they often discover that they have more shootings than previously reported.
On Oct. 4, 2011, then-Councilman (now Mayor) Garcia (joined by then-Councilmembers O'Donnell, DeLong and incumbent Andrews) proposed allocating $350,000 in oil revenue to fund shotspotter gunfire location technology using $350,000 from uplands oil revenue. Their agendizing memo stated "The Shotspotter gunshot detection system would be a valuable tool to assist the Police Department in responding to gun incidents and other types of crime." The Council approved the item but after nearly a year with no shotspotter deployment, in November 2012 then-Vice Mayor Garcia and then-Councilman O'Donnell agendized an item to erase the shotspotter funding...and use the one-time oil revenue to plug a budget hole and cover LBPD overtime. In their Nov. 2012 memo, Garcia and O'Donnell wrote:
After analysis by City Management and the LBPD, it has been determined that ShotSpotter's technology does not currently meet the public safety needs of the City. Further, it has been concluded that a gunfire detection technology that is compatible with the City's landscape does not currently exist with any vendor. At this time, the existing funds will not be used to purchase or subscribe to this type of program...
Although upland oil revenue has decreased, Measure A (LB's June 2016 sales tax increase ballot measure urged by Mayor Garcia and approved by LB voters) has given City Hall an infusion of over $45+ million annually...but residents in LB gunfire impacted areas still don't have ShotSpotter.
The issue has created a friendly difference of opinion between LBREPORT.com publisher Bill Pearl and now-retired LBPD Administration Bureau Chief Braden Phillips. At a recent event, we greeted each other and Pearl quipped, "And we still don't have ShotSpotter" to which Mr. Phillips swiftly replied, "Yes, they use it in Chicago and look what's happening there."
Expecting a digital device to stop Chicago's shootings asks too much, but LBREPORT.com believes funding and deploying ShotSpotter would likely document shootings that LBPD currently hasn't documented.
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