On Thursday, the City Council unanimously passed the fiscal year 2017/18 Budget. As Chair of the Public Safety Committee and Vice Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, I am most pleased with the resources that were provided to our sworn police officers and fire fighters in order to increase the City’s ability to keep our residents safe and to protect our communities.
For LAPD, we increased the number of police officers on patrol through a civilianization process that added back necessary crime solving support services, including technicians to staff our DNA, latent fingerprint and firearm units – helping to increase the solve rate for property crimes in addition to homicides while returning officers to the streets. We also accelerated the final phase of detention officer hiring to return police officers working in the jails back to patrol functions. Technology and equipment needs were also funded – including a replacement of the non-emergency phone systems at four Valley stations. Perhaps most significantly, we were able to reduce the overtime and pension burden of the Metro Transit Contract.
In the Fire Department, we increased fire fighter hiring and added Read more »
For residents who wish to relocate, the SoCal Gas Company is providing free, temporary housing accommodations, including locations that can accommodate residents with disabilities and people with access and functional needs. For residents with pets, the SoCal Gas Company has arranged pet-friendly locations. To receive temporary housing accommodations, call 404-497-6808.
For information regarding students and attendance inquiries, contact your child’s home school and their administrator. For Porter Ranch Community School, call (818) 709-7100. For Castlebay Lane Charter School, call (818) 360-1908. Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) – Northwest Local District will also have information regarding this issue, go to www.lausd.net.
This Monday, I join the Bureau of Engineering and the Department of Transportation to cut the ribbon on several new improvements to the intersection of Balboa Boulevard and San Fernando Road. Improvements to the intersection include the constructed two left turn lanes, a new dedicated lane for traffic heading south onto Balboa Blvd. and a new street light and traffic signal.
In 2007, we identified several projects along this Balboa Blvd corridor as being critical to mobility in Council District 12. The stretch of Balboa Boulevard between the 118 Freeway and Foothill Blvd is one of the most congested in the Valley during peak hours, with over 20,000 commuters passing through it daily.
This intersection serves as an alternative for commuters traveling to and from the Santa Clarita Valley, but we feel increased impacts when there is an incident on the freeway, or during long periods of heavy freeway construction.
Thank you to the City of Los Angeles’ Bureau of Engineering and Department of Transportation for helping to make these improvements a reality. These improvements will have a tremendous impact on the quality of life of local residents.
–Mitchell Englander, Councilmember Twelfth District
Temperatures reached over 100 degrees in the San Fernando Valley last week before cooling off. More heat waves will come this summer, so be ready!
During extreme heat, the City opens up hundreds of facilities to be utilized as cooling centers, including Senior Citizen Centers, most Recreation and Parks facilities, and City Libraries. They offer residents cold water, and a place to rest indoors in the air-conditioning. For more information on where all the cooling centers are located, call 3-1-1 or click here.
Drink plenty of water:
If you plan to be outdoors, take precautions to protect yourself from the sun and heat. Avoid the sun from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm when the sun’s burning rays are most intense. Reduce physical activity. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and light- colored, lightweight, loose-fitting clothes. Avoid hot, heavy meals and alcohol. Drink Gatorade or other non-caffeinated drinks with electrolytes. If you do not have air-conditioning, visit one of the City’s public pools or go to a public park to sit in the shade. Go to a shopping mall. You do not need to purchase anything, and there are plenty of places to sit.
Be Aware of Symptoms of Dehydration and Heat Stroke:
Symptoms of dehydration and heat stroke include dizziness, fatigue, faintness, headaches, muscle cramps and increased thirst. To learn more, click here.
Never Leave Pets or Kids Unattended in a Vehicle:
Leaving a child or a pet in a closed vehicle on a hot or sunny day, even with the windows cracked, can be fatal. On hot or sunny days, the temperature inside a car can be 50 degrees hotter than outside.
This Wednesday, Councilmember Mitchell Englander joined Councilmember Joe Buscaino, Department of Transportation General Manager Seleta Reynolds, Los Angeles Police Department’s Captain Philip Fontanetta, and hit-and-run victim and founder of Finish the Ride Damian Kevitt to announce the implementation of a hit-and-run alert system throughout the City of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed my motion to direct the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) to work with the City’s Emergency Management Department and the Department of Transportation to implement a hit-and-run mass notification system in the City of Los Angeles using existing technology platforms such as Nixle, Twitter, and Facebook.
Councilmember Englander thanked Councilmember Joe Buscaino for submitting companion legislation, also unanimously passed in Council on Wednesday, directing the City Attorney to draft an ordinance to offer a standing reward for the apprehension and conviction of those guilty of committing a hit-and-run crime.
Los Angeles and its surrounding communities are in the grips of a hit-and-run epidemic. The LAPD records approximately 20,000 hit-and-runs each year. Nearly half of all vehicle crashes in the City of Los Angeles are hit-and-runs, compared with the national average of 11 percent. Last year, there were 27 fatalities and 144 severe injuries due to hit-and-run crimes. On average LAPD was only able to solve 20% of the cases. Hit and run crimes are especially difficult to solve because often there is little or no evidence and no witnesses.
Currently, the State is considering the Yellow Alert System, which would broadcast similar information on hit-and-run crimes. The Yellow Alert models the Medina Alert system implemented in the State of Colorado. Similar to the Amber Alert system, the alert will be issued for a specific hit and run incident to the public on highway signs and through the media. Last week, the Los Angeles City Council passed Councilmember Englander’s resolution to support California State Assemblymember Mike Gatto’s Assembly Bill 8 which would authorize law enforcement agencies to issue a “Yellow Alert” if a person has been killed or seriously injured in a hit-and-run incident and there is a reliable description of the vehicle.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilman Mitchell Englander, and US Geological Survey seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones hosted a community meeting to provide residents the opportunity to learn more about “Resilience by Design,” Mayor Garcetti’s plan to improve our City’s infrastructure and ensure public safety and preparedness in the event of an earthquake or other disaster.
Over 350 community stakeholders showed up at the Greig Smith LAPD Devonshire PALS Youth Center to learn how the City is preparing and how to prepare their families for the next major disaster. Dr. Jones provided attendees with an overview of the Mayor’s Resilience by Design report, which outlined the City’s greatest vulnerabilities from earthquakes and provides specific recommendations for the City to undertake in order to respond effectively in the aftermath of an earthquake and better prepare for a major seismic event. Click here to read the full report.