Long Beach Mayor/Council Let LBPD Hide Crime Stats

By: 
Bill Pearl

Compare LAPD’s Transparent Detailed Shooting Data With Zero In LBPD Crime Stats

In business it’s often said one can’t manage what one can’t measure. But with the tacit approval of its policy-recommending mayor and policy-setting City Council, the City of Long Beach currently makes it nearly impossible to measure, and thus to manage, the number of non-police involved shootings in Long Beach.

The City of Long Beach (LA County’s second largest city) currently fails to disclose the number of non-police-involved shootings and their general locations in the city’s crime statistics.

Long Beach’s practice contrasts with the City of Los Angeles where LAPD shows the number of shootings – with separate line items for “shots fired” and “shooting victims” and their increases/decreases and their local division (geographic) locations – in its routinely released crime stats.

In terms of transparency and detail for the public, LAPD’s practice puts Long Beach to shame.

LAPD provides public access to these shooting details in its routinely available crime stats online, both citywide totals and links to the shooting details for each of LAPD’s geographic divisions.

In contrast, Long Beach Police Department crime stats display no shootings.

The Long Beach Police Department (operating under the city manager who answers to the City Council) does what many local law enforcement agencies do. LBPD includes shootings among “aggravated assaults,” a collective category that can range from a bar fight with one party wielding a table fork to a near fatal shooting. LB’s practice satisfies federal crime-counting bureaucrats but leaves LB taxpayers and neighborhood groups in the dark on non-police-involved shootings.

Media outlets get shooting information by requesting it daily from LBPD’s Public Information Officers. However LBPD doesn’t compile and list the shooting data in its publicly released crime stats.

Nothing prevents LBPD from displaying the shooting details that LAPD does: shots fired, shooting victims and their general locations (in LB’s case by council districts) although the data may be politically problematic for some council incumbents. LB shootings are disproportionately concentrated in downtown-adjacent/Central LB areas in Council Districts 1 (Zendejas) and 6 (Andrews) and the western portion of District 4 (Supernaw.) To a lesser extent, shootings are concentrated in parts of NLB (the northern part of Council District 8 (Austin) plus Council District 9 (Richardson.)

This writer has publicly called the disproportionate shootings impacts an inequity, a chronic “tale of two cities” injustice that council members citywide have allowed to persist. On Sept. 8, 2020, the council voted 9-0 to defund 48 additional sworn officers, on top of 180+ officers erased in 2009-2015 budgets and not restored despite LB voter approval of the 2016 Measure A sales tax increase. 

Among officers not restored is LBPD’s former field anti-gang unit: 20 officers plus two sergeants deployed in the community to view conditions firsthand, interact with residents and businesses and gather information shared with LBPD’s internal gang unit. (LBPD’s internal gang unit continues to operate; it conducts investigations and responds to most non-fatal shootings.) LBPD has indicated that most of LB’s shootings reflect or are related to gang activity.

The City Council’s Public Safety Committee (Price, Supernaw, Austin) could agendize the issue of publicly listing the number of LB shootings, their increase/decrease and their council districts in LB crime stats. It could recommend action to the full City Council on this issue. Under chair Price (took office in mid-2014), it hasn’t done so.

Any city councilmember could agendize the issue and direct the city manager to have LBPD include shooting information that LAPD displays – showing the number of shots fired, persons hit, both citywide and geographically – in LB’s crime stats. Under Mayor Garcia (since mid-2014), no council incumbent has done so.

 Bill Pearl publishes LBReport.com, an online local news source since August 2000.

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Comments

I said it once, twice, three, four, and so on, and i'll say it again, LBPD is a criminal organization who lies and conspires with other city officials. the only way to change it is to VOTE these people out and FIRE the incompetent COP Luna. It's amazing how we in the LBC allow this to happen. Luna can't run or control a PD of 800 officers, compared to the LAPD of 10,000 officers, that why he has to lie and hide the truth from us, DISGUSTING...

Criminals are running the city as well as the country and the world.

The author Bill Pearl has been in the pocket of the Long Beach Police Department and their union for years. He is constantly stumping for more cops, downplays police misconduct in his LBReport.com and ignores reporting on incidents of LBPD police misconduct. Residents have figured out his agenda and are no longer interested in it.

I find it hard to attach any validity to your contention that 'Residents have figured out his agenda and are no longer interested in it.'......unless of course you interviewed all 462,000 people in Long Beach. Fact is, I know many residents who want more police officers and are not on an agenda to trash the Department. God bless the men and women in blue.

Yes, you are correct we all want more police, but honest, hardworking officer's, that don't violate LB citizens civil-rights, and are held accountable when they lose millions of tax payer money for misconduct that they committed. A good stat would be honesty and transparence from the LBPD and the city, which we don't have. If you don't agree with that then, people like you are part of the problem that help keep these corrupt people employed in OUR city. SMH

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