How much crime do you have to endure before police take it seriously?

NeighborhoodWatchLogo.JPGThat’s the question a Glassell  Park resident named Marcella asks after she and her neighbors endured a mini crime wave during the first night of the New Year. Things got started at about 6:30 p.m. on Saturday when Marcella, who lives near Cazador Street and Avenue 33, chased off a man who was trying to steal bikes from her front yard. Police arrived about a half hour later to talk to Marcella and her neighbors, who had reported that theirs cars had been spray painted and their house windows broken.  Marcella describes the scene after the police arrived:

“As they walked across the street to take a statement from nearby residents whose cars were spray painted, another set of neighbors came up to the cops and said that their [house] window was broken by a piece of wood being flung at it. About 15 minutes later, we got a call from our tenant [who lives in a back house] who just got home and found that HIS window had been broken too! The cops said that it may or may not have been the same guy who tried to steal our bikes but I’m sure it was. I am so angry that the police seem so unconcerned about this.”

The crimes were far from serious but Marcella said she expected more from the officers, who she said simply offered advice on how to prevent crime instead of investigating the matter. ” I feel like the cops could have looked around the property more,”  she said. “It was a little exasperating that they asked which direction he went in but they clearly had no intentions to look for him.”


  1. I lived in Eagle Rock for 5 years.

    One time my burglar alarm got tripped, I didn’t realize it. The police arrived 71 minutes later. I would have been long dead by then.

    When I called because the drunken neighbor, who’s been arrested for beating his wife, was trying to break his own door down to get inside when his wife locked him out. When police arrived they told me that if the wife was not already beaten, there was nothing they could do but they would go talk to him. A few minutes later, they were standing around on the sidewalk with the guy, talking and laughing. I even saw one of them light his cigarette! They hung out with my neighbor the wife beater for a 1/2 hour or more.

    Noise complaints about the neighbors behind me would continually be ignored – they had live bands outside until 2 or 3 in the morning EVERY weekend.

    When I lived on the west side, any calls I made to the police were responded to immediately. What gives?

  2. I am always amazed when I do see an LAPD cruiser driving around Glassell Park, it is not the norm unless you count them driving like “bats out of hell” driving through on Eagle Rock or Verdugo going to another area. The service to the general area is not very good, or it seems that way.

  3. The cops are there to write you tickets other than that they are useless over paid security guards !
    We need to take back our own streets I am sick of reporting crimes and turning in criminals only to see them back on the street minutes later !
    I have caught chumps stealing my neighbors bikes,vandalizing property I have held them my self personally till the cops get there only to see them litterly minutes later I have confronted them they know me they know I am armed and will beat them as well that is the only thing they understand I get dirty looks but I give them the same hairy eye ,they now know not to steal from my neighbors.
    Bottom line most Cops are chumps that just want to take home a pay check like you and me very few take there job seriously!

  4. Beg to disagree — most cops are not chumps.

    You should calm and and retract that statement. And don’t start the John Wayne-Dirty Harry-2nd Amendment thing. You know how bad a fad can be.

  5. Northeast LAPD will do everything and anything to make sure they get credit for the drop in violent crimes and murders in the Northeast area in 2010 but won’t do jack when you call them to report a crime. All they seem to be good for right now is paralyzing 12 year old boys.

  6. I live farther up Cazador and drive through this area almost every day – and almost every time, there are kids congregating, cars just hanging out, and a sense that a little bit of trouble is in the offing. I do see cruisers around on occasion – but usually only after a gang-related police chopper surveillance episode, which we get every so often.

  7. Happy New Year all,

    While not speaking to Marcella’s incident specifically (I don’t know details), if one is not satisfied with the response or actions of a field officer, request to speak to a sergeant. The officers will summon one, and the sergeant will review the incident and assess the officers’ actions. You won’t get the officers in trouble, unless there is misconduct revealed. It’s much like going to a business and receiving bad service. Believe it or not, quality control of public contacts is a priority of field operations managers.

    The arrival of a third party (the sergeant) may defuse any tensions which could exist if a frustrated citizen is tired of dealing with a particular set of officers. And as importantly, if an officer is constantly becoming involved in disputes with citizens, there may be an underlying personnel issue with which the Department must deal. It may be immaturity, genuine lack of compassion, a misunderstanding, or simply the way an officer carries themself. In any event, we constantly review standards and conduct of our officers.

    Following the sergeant’s response, they will speak with the officers and the citizen, brief all of them on what will be done and why, then document it on a daily report they submit at their end of watch. If corrective action is required, they will carry that out and document it, whether it be formal training, or a conversation to give guidance to one of the myriad young officers in the field today.

    The Department works for you, not the other way around. If we don’t know that citizens are displeased with the delivery of service, it is difficult to address.

    Enjoy your sunny work week,

    (213) 484-3400

  8. LAPD does all it can to stop crime. Problem is there are not enough of them.

    Councilmembers Eric Garcetti and Ed Reyes promised more officers when they increased the trash fees. They lied. It did not happen. The money just went into the general fund. Don’t believe them when they want to increase fees or taxes.

    LAPD has less than 10,000 officers. That includes detectives, sergeants, captains, and others. That leaves very few street cops on the streets. If you never see a police officer now you know why. There are very few. It is not because the few are not out there, it is because they are not very many. That is something the city council does not address.

    Get angry with the city council and not our LAPD officers. If you want more of them contact your city councilmember, that is if you can ever find one.

  9. Nice to see Lt. Buhrmester posting, and anon 8:14 am is probably right. It’s a matter of not enough cops on the streets. I agree as well that ineffectual council members–like Ed Reyes who is more concerned with stopping solar power arrays than our safety–are surely at the heart of the matter. In the neighborhood where I live(Montecito Heights), noise ordinances are simply not enforced, period. People routinely have outdoor parties with four-foot tall speakers blasting music until 3 am. Unless there are shots fired, LAPD will not intervene. You just have to live with it. Which makes me wonder, why do we have laws in the first place?

  10. The reason the number of police officers may seem low is because they effectively use helicopters as a force multiplier. The homicide rate is at a level not seen since the sixties. That’s not bad if you ask me.

  11. So homicides are down, that is great, it really is. But what about all of the other lesser crimes that make people feel like they are not safe in their neighborhood period?

  12. Where were all of you when the Mayor and city council continued to cut LAPD budget over $100 million? Were you speaking out as many of us were to keep cops in our neighborhoods? Probably not. No one speaks out to get more cops until they become victims of a crime like Marcella. The reason why LAPD takes so long to respond is although there are roughly 9,800 cops ONLY less then 2,000 patrol our streets for 4 million people. The Mayor doesn’t want people to know that. Cops get so much crap but you never hear about the hundreds of times they are assaulted by violent criminals protecting YOUR neighborhood. There’s always 2 sides to every story and trust me Cops do a great job in our city. New Year’s eve is one of the busiest and most dangerous.

  13. If you want to stop crime, then you must take a proactive approach to it. Organize a neighborhood watch. Organize nightly “walks” the one thing that those criminally minded don’t like is activity in a house or a neighborhood. Remove grafitti, and report it. The gang bangers are telling you that this is their territory, and you have no right to it. By removing it you are sending them the opposite message. Lastly, get involved. BMW’ing on a message board is not getting involved. Beating on the LAPD at community meetings is.

  14. @PochoPatriot

    Actually, posting on a message board is one form of getting involved. “Beating” on the LAPD at community meetings is another. One does not preclude the possibility of the other. (Not sure what BMWs have to do with any of this.)

  15. Lt. Wes: I appreciate your posts here — straight-forward, thoughtful and lots of useful information. I’m wondering why we never see such communiques from any of your colleagues at Northeast Division? Given how understaffed the LAPD is, using sites such as the Eastsider is a smart and efficient way of communicating with residents. Just another form of community-based policing.

  16. crime is up because there is no gang unit in northeast no more, The captains just want all officers to focus on echo park because of the christmas day shooting (which was not in northeast).

  17. Good morning,

    Miss Edendale, each division deals with community outreach in different ways. I do know the Northeast captains and Senior Lead Officers send out e-mail messages to residents on a regular basis. I happen to be comfortable in cyberspace, and I’ve spoken to and had e-mail communications with many of the readers, and it’s been a pleasure. It supplements, but not substitutes for, the in-person contacts.

    (213) 484-3400

  18. Annonymous wrote: LAPD does all it can to stop crime. Problem is there are not enough of them.

    Funny, I heard the police chief on the radio just today saying that the LAPD finally had enough officers.

  19. If your concerned with the Violence and crime in the Echo Park& Silver Lake area and would like to hold our politicians accountable, please join our Facebook Group “Echo Park* Residents Against Gang Envolvement”
    (EP* Rage).

  20. No thanks on the facebook group, You cannot hold the politicians accountable, hold the parents of the gang members accountable because they did not raise their kids right.

  21. Although, we are currently taxed on our trash bins to finance additional LAPD officers, the original purpose has not take fruition as we had hoped it would. Maintaining a positive attitude, collaborating with LAPD, setting up community Neighborhood Watch meetings, reporting graffiti to 3-1-1, and reporting crime does make a difference. And, sometimes, we will encounter a few bad apples along the way that may cause us to react negatively to their indifference. Believe in your neighbors and community. You can make a difference!!! We all can!

  22. I live off Cazador st and all the LAPD has to do is hang out on division street and you will just be amazed by the clear and blatant disregard these gang members and there families have for the community and evviroment. the amount of daily tagging that takes place its amazing that these “hard working” officers cant catch these young , dumb punks that come to the same spots and do the same thing over and over again. How much money do you(the LAPD) spend on the ghetto bird that flys around waking every god damn person up at the wee hours of the night. Its so ridiculous that that is the solution to the problem we are responding look at the helicopter…such BS. Hang out for more than the 30 seconds you take to speed down division street. Its ridiculous what takes place in plain view and these qualified police officers cant seem to catch. Im a home owner and I think the police activity in the are is more than pathetic and personally i cant wait till i can move the F out of this area. A friggin blind person could catch these people but the LAPD cant seem to.

  23. What i want to know is why people move to high crime areas then get angry when there’s crime. If youre too scared to talk to the natives and the cops domt feel the need to hold your hand AND youre paying stuid rent prices then why not move? If you dont move yhen it must not be that bad. You want “edgy” without everything that comes along withalongIts not a movie people

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