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MTA Board Increases Police Contracts, Funding For Public Safety Alternatives – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

The Metro Board today approved a motion aimed at pursuing police alternatives through a recommendation from the Public Security Advisory Board, while resolving to increase the current transportation contracts with law enforcement agencies. bottom.

The first approved motion added $ 75 million to the current contract with law enforcement agencies, with the option to extend the contract for another six months until December 2022, and then for another six months. The increase was to explain that the department was overspending contracts. The Board also resolved on March 25 to increase contracts by $ 36 million due to overspending.

According to the motion, the Public Security Advisory Board will have time to submit alternative procurement recommendations during the up to 18 months currently approved for extension of the contract. PSAC was created by Metro after a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd in May 2020. Its mission is to help Metro create a community-based approach to public safety.

The board on Thursday also approved a motion to commit $ 40 million to public security alternatives in the 2023 budget starting July 2022, identifying a specific station for Metro for a rethought public security pilot program. , Instructed to develop a strategy to consult with PSAC. Pilot design, implementation and evaluation. The Board previously resolved in March 2021 to commit $ 40 million to public safety alternatives in the 2022 fiscal year ending June 30, 2022. Metro’s Judy Gerhardt told the board on Thursday that the $ 40 million allocation hadn’t been used yet. The staff is working in detail at PSAC.

This year, $ 40 million was allocated to initiatives such as transit ambassadors, elevator attendants, homeless outreach workers, mental health specialists, and flexible dispatch systems that enable unarmed security ambassadors to respond. Transit Ambassadors are trained in deescalation and customer service to support transit workers and riders. Under a motion approved Thursday, Metro will report to the Board in February on the status of the initiative funded by the first $ 40 million.

Councilor Mike Bonin, who introduced a motion focused on police alternatives, said his motion was “beginning with the formation of the (Public Security Advisory Board) in June last year and the work already done by the board. Built on the basis, it then invested more than $ 40 million in March of this year as a down payment to develop an alternative public security strategy, which is PSAC’s recommendations and staff’s recommendations to extend law enforcement contracts. An attempt to close the gap between matters. Alliance for Community Transit-Los Angeles, advocating police alternatives in the metro, said after the vote:

“ACT-LA opposes an additional $ 75 million for Metro’s improperly managed and overused police contracts, but today’s Metro Board adds another $ 40 million to non-police safety strategies for public transport systems. Commit and voted to allocate. Programs, new outreach and resources for uncontained riders, and more resources to provide safety for all transit riders. “Metro Conference is a police alternative. We’ve received dozens of calls from people who support the plan and reinvestment of police funds, and from people who urge the Metro not to remove law enforcement agencies from the Metro.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva tweeted Wednesday, urging people to call the Metro Board, “voting is to remove law enforcement and replace it with an’ambassador’. Extension of current contract and contract for up to 18 months. Metro’s board of directors supervisor Kathryn Berger said the ongoing funding for law enforcement on transportation systems was “right.”

“As a member of the Metro Board, I firmly believe that we need to balance the solutions to make that happen. This is not a” either / or “situation. It requires a multi-layered approach to security and security. Eliminating the metro system’s professional police and funding the metro police is always wrong, “she said after the vote.

Supervisor Janice Hahn had previously amended the motion to require law enforcement agencies contracted with Metro to enforce vaccination obligations. However, during the Metro meeting on Thursday, the Board decided to first have Metro staff report to the Board in early 2022, using a recommended approach to implement the requirements.

Councilor Mike Bonin has stated his vision for introducing a motion to invest in an alternative public security model:

Metro staff provided a visual of this idea in an upside-down pyramid graph. In this graph, the Transit Ambassadors category is the largest section at the top, narrowed down to Community Partnerships / Homeless and Outreach Services, Security, and Law Enforcement. “Law enforcement is a significantly reduced support role and we are ready to respond quickly and quickly to emergencies that may require power,” Bonin said.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said during the meeting that he would like to speed up the transit ambassador process through a previous pilot program. “I’m a little disappointed. Why does it take so long for the ambassador to actually get up?” Asked the mayor. He added that he hopes to implement the Transit Ambassador Pilot Program by June 2022.

“Let’s see what works. Let’s fix what doesn’t work. Don’t do it while stealing resources from security guards and law enforcement agencies, but put them side by side.” He added. Board member Ala Najarian said she was concerned about the role of transit ambassadors. “How do ambassadors stop crimes, how do ambassadors stop ongoing crimes, and how do ambassadors arrest those who commit crimes?” He asked.

He also said the Public Security Advisory Board had no law enforcement experts or crime victims and was concerned about the lack of diversity in the Public Security Advisory Board. Some people called on the conference to encourage more crackdowns on the metro system, some quoted an increase in violent crime.

According to the Los Angeles Times, violent crimes in the metro decreased by about 25% from 2021 to September compared to the same period last year, although ridership decreased in 2020 due to a pandemic before the rebound in 2021. Increased.

Violent crimes in 2021 were about 9% higher than in 2019, with some crimes above pre-pandemic levels, including exacerbation of assault. Bus and rail passenger numbers remain lower than they were before the pandemic, according to The Times. Other callers immediately terminated the contract with the police and urged the board to invest in police alternatives, citing police violence and a disproportionate number of black riders quoted by police. ..

Advancement Project California, a progressive non-profit organization focused on racial justice, tweeted Thursday urging Metro to terminate the police contract.

MTA Board Increases Police Contracts, Funding For Public Safety Alternatives – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel Source link MTA Board Increases Police Contracts, Funding For Public Safety Alternatives – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

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