Replace Police On Metro A-Line (Blue Line) With Unarmed "Ambassadors" To Handle Unspecified "Non-Violent" Crimes And Shift Resources From Armed Responses To Various Issues Metro Riders Encounter? LB Mayor Garcia And Metro Board Majority Just Voted To Pursue This. Metro's LBPD Contract Expires In 2022.
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|(June 25, 2020, 11:35 p.m.) -- LB Mayor Robert Garcia didn't speak but joined with a majority of the LA County Metropolitan Transporation Authority ("Metro") governing board in voting "yes" to create a new advisory committee that will help develop alternatives to armed response to unspecified "non-violent" crimes on Metro's trains and "shift resources from armed law enforcement."
The item, whose co-agendizers included incoming Metro Board chair LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, LA City Councilman Mike Bonin and LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn, directs Metro;s Chief Executive Officer to:
A.. Establish a Transit Public Safety Advisory Committee" that incorporates Metro's existing Community Safety & Security Working Group and includes "additional perspectives that represent Metro’s ridership and advocacy organizations, including but not limited to racial, cultural, gender, income, geography, immigration status, and housing status.":
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|Prior to the Board vote, the motion was amended at the request of Metro Board chair/Inglewood Mayor James Butts (a former Inglewood PD Deputy Chief and Santa Monica PD Chief to specify that "part of work of the newly created advisory committee will be help establish a set of values and a mission for contracted services."
Prior to the Board vote, public testimony (emailed and read aloud) was overwhelming in urging Metro to eliminate police officers entirely from Metro's trains.
During Board discussion, LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said she believes Metro riders want to be kept safe by armed officers. She was among a handful of Metro boardmembers to vote "no" on the motion,
In March 2017, LBPD (with unanimous support from the LB City Council) entered into a contract (through 2022) with Metro to deploy sworn LBPD officers along the LB portion of Line A (Blue Line) with Metro paying the cost of the deployed officers. (Metro also contrcted with LAPD and LASD to handle other parts of the system.) LBPD management said it would provide the Metro contracted officers using LBPD overtime (so as not to reduce LBPD neighborhood police levels.)
LB Councilmembers universally praised Mayor Garcia for the contract, which Metro staff recommended to increase actual and perceived security (and acknowledged it will also save Metro money). Metro's Board approved the agreement on Feb. 23, 2017 with Mayor Garcia voting "yes" as a Boardmember.
A year later, LBPD issued a release at this link indicating that in its first year, the LBPD Metro deployed officers had "reduced Part 1 crime by 50% and Part 2 crime by 80% within the eight station platforms and trains that fall under the City’s jurisdiction." It added that "the presence of officers in and around the platforms has reduced assaults against train operators by 30%, and achieved an average Priority 1 response time of 2.38 minutes."
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