We’re well into 2013, but Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck has had his hands full dealing with ghosts of the past.
Last month, the police department reopened the 2007 disciplinary case that resulted in the firing of Christopher Dorner -- the former police officer who took four lives before dying in a fiery blaze in the Big Bear mountains. Meanwhile, the year-and-a-half-old prison realignment effort is having both expected and unexpected outcomes on the local level. A small uptick in property crime in Los Angeles? Possibly related and perhaps expected. Thousands of paroled sex offenders going unpunished after disarming their GPS trackers because the county jails are too full? Not expected. These same sex offenders have troubles of their own, however, if a movement started by the community of Harbor Gateway takes off. The neighborhood will soon be home to a tiny “pocket park” – a little piece of green with a big mission of driving away the offenders in the neighborhood. Further north in Hollywood, the police have cracked down on 20 MS-13 gang members who have allegedly extorted local food truck operators for over five years. At the same time, car chases seem to be an ever-present feature of Los Angeles freeways, causing some to wonder whether the punishment doled out to these high-speed bandits is severe enough.
How is LAPD’s top cop dealing with all of this?
Charlie Beck, Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department