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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

How about $7,334,470?

In December 2004, the LA City Council voted to create the Office of Public Safety which consolidated a large number of public safety positions outside the LAPD in to one unit. This was pushed as a budget savings move which, in analysis by the CAO, could save Los Angeles between $200,000 and $900,000 annually.

In February 2008, councilites Greuel and Weiss issued a press release praising the increase in services and the amazing financial savings the creation of OPS has brought the City. (Whoohoo! Save us money!) Simultaneously, stating that they need more funding to do the job they promised to do in 2005 at an annual savings to the City, OPS has requested 2008-09 funding increases of: $2,480,000 + $911,000 + $1,000,000 + $1,532,000 + $25,000 + $1,386,470 = ... (drumroll) ... $7,334,470

Oops!


OPS was created using a ****load of Homeland Security funding with the noble ideal of somehow saving the City money while simultaneously transforming the City’s General Services Department Police into a one-size-does-fit-all solution to law enforcement issues not handled by LAPD in Los Angeles.

This money-saving consolidation caused huge upheavals in a number of the affected City Departments: Zoo, Recreation and Parks, Libraries, General Services, Convention Center all saw a large numbers of employees move to a new department along with the responsibility of some of the most fundamental services they provide. Today these departments continue to be responsible for making sure the services are provided to their respective public patrons, even though these services are now out of their control.

Devised by James Hahn and Wendy Greuel, the plan was shoved shamelessly through by SEIU who was pushing their 'one City, one workforce' mandate (shades of “one size fits all”) and who wanted control of a second police force that was unencumbered by the consent decree and the large number of paying union members that came along with the package.

In a yearlong series of public dog and pony shows, SEIU promised the public that the same services would be provided by OPS as were previously provided by Zoo security, Park Rangers, Library security officers, and GSD Police and Security at public buildings, plus a huge increase in the strictly public safety component. However, the statistics upon which these promises were made were incorrect by anywhere from 33% to 1000%, and SEIU and OPS knew it. Oops!

Regardless, on February 9th, 2005, OPS took over security at more than 800 City locations. And how is that going, so far?

As happened at a Feb 17, 2008 Elysian Park Public Safety forum hosted by Ed Reyes, LA City parks patrons -- those who are either not afraid of political ramifications or not afraid to lose their City-related jobs -- will tell you that not only are the same services not being provided by OPS, but previous service levels that used to be provided by a perpetually underfunded and understaffed Park Ranger division are not even being maintained. The promised “24 hour security coverage” holy grail might exist on paper, but good luck getting a response if the call isn't sexy enough for OPS to respond. Half the time they don’t even have a car in the area, which is exactly one of the main issues SEIU promised the public to correct with OPS. As for that CD 1 Elysian Park Public Safety forum? With concerned members of the public, Council Office and Rec and Parks officials and Park Rangers waiting, OPS arrived 90 minutes late. ...Oops.

Other agencies' public patrons have similar complaints. The Library Commission actually had the political gonads to vote against supporting the Consolidation, and their concerns have proved well-founded. In early 2007, KCBS did an indepth investigation on the huge increase in crime at LA City libraries, the very libraries whose security was taken over by OPS in 2005. In defending the rapidly growing money pit and bureaucratic nightmare, OPS Chief Garry Newton complained that his department was getting more calls that their faulty statistics said they would. He also stated that crime was actually down in City Libraries, but had no data to support the claim. Oops!

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to do the math. $7,334,470 in additional funding is far greater than a maximum of $900,000 in savings, and this doesn’t included the major funding increases OPS has received using different excuses at different times in 2005, 2006, and 2007. The so-called savings are long a thing of the past. Yet, services to City patrons are no better in most cases, and worse in many cases.

Th OPS Consolidation is a very complex beast and Union and City officials are on notice to be team players about supporting this pet project; publicly they make a united front on the wonders of OPS-ness. But for the public, it comes down to this: OPS does not provide the same services as were previous provided and it does not save the City any money -- it actually costs a great deal more. Meanwhile, OPS has absorbed all of the Homeland Security resources and funding that may have gone to agencies like Zoo and Library Security forces and the Park Rangers who actually did provide the services in question as possible on the thinnest of fractions of the funding the OPS behemoth currently consumes. Now during the City budget crunch, OPS wants more. A lot more.


----------------------------------------------
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:
Ben Golombek - Greuel
February 6th, 2008 (213)
473-7002

Lisa Hansen - Weiss

(213) 473-7005 Greuel, weiss OFFICE OF PUBLIC SAFETY has improved security and saved city money OFFICE OF PUBLIC SAFETY'S CITIZEN OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE EXTENDED

LOS ANGELES - Continuing their efforts to improve public safety and save taxpayer money, City Councilmembers Wendy Greuel and Jack Weiss, today, led the Los Angeles City Council in extending the Citizen Oversight Committee for the City's Office of Public Safety (OPS) for an additional two years. In December 2005, Councilmembers Greuel and Weiss led the City Council in creating the Office of Public Safety, which consolidated security divisions from City Departments, outside of the Los Angeles Police Department.

"The Office of Public Safety has helped to save the City money and make Los Angeles safer," said Councilwoman Greuel. "We have more security in our parks and at our City facilities with improved response times. Now more than ever, the city must address its economic inefficiencies and streamline the way it does business."

Because of the creation of OPS, City security forces now have the ability to respond to incidents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As a result, OPS has been able to respond to 131% more calls than the Departments collectively could before the consolidation. The creation of the OPS has helped to save the City money by reducing bureaucracy and duplicative administrative roles.

"The collaboration of the City's public safety departments has been beneficial to maximize limited resources and expertise," said Councilmember Jack Weiss. "Continuing the oversight of the Office of Public Safety will ensure that this office delivers on its promise of efficiency in City services."

The consolidation has also helped enhance security at City facilities -- improving access control, monitoring systems, quality control for contract security, improved policies, procedures and training.

The OPS includes officers that were formerly part of the Departments of General Services, Library, Zoo, Recreation and Parks, El Pueblo and Convention Center.

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50 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Welcome to Mayor Sam's blog Mr. PetraFried, this type of post will make you a standout among the other Blogging Burros.

The blog title is "Home of Los Angeles Politics", and this is the type of stories I come here to find.

Maybe Jack Hoff and Jim Headington can learn from you.

March 18, 2008 11:26 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This long and rambling post must be ZD under a pseudonym. One which isn't even speeled korrectly. What's
"petrafied?" Who's petra?

March 18, 2008 1:13 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I agree.

March 18, 2008 1:20 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I agree.

March 18, 2008 1:20 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Good Mayor Sam,
We count on you to check out your featured bloggers. You don't have to say their Anon names but we do hope you have met personally met them like with Jack Hoff and the V Doll and cleared them for hidden agendas. Please say you did that with Ms. Petrifried Thing. You did, in keeping with your integrity?

March 18, 2008 2:08 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

My suggestion is that people spend less on attacking the anonymous poster, and more on the posting. Has a valid concern been raised? Does anyone have a response to it, or will readers be limited to just reading attacks on the author?

March 18, 2008 2:51 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

who cares who is petrafied thing? and won't there be hell to pay if its who clowncil ect thinks it is. michael higby shame on you. you didn't meet her first. oops.

March 18, 2008 2:56 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This post doesn't even make sense.

The Council and Mayor make no secret of fact that public safety comes first and this sounds like some sort of guaranteed, centralized revenue stream for that. Centralizing cops and security forces into a specialized unit makes sense, too, and has been Bratton's objective.

No one has any idea what poster is getting at. And s/he never answered, why Patrafied instead of Petrified? Who can take seriously a person who can't spell such a basic word? Such a person blogging on MS with Joe petrifies me.

March 18, 2008 3:05 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This post doesn't even make sense.

The Council and Mayor make no secret of fact that public safety comes first and this sounds like some sort of guaranteed, centralized revenue stream for that. Centralizing cops and security forces into a specialized unit makes sense, too, and has been Bratton's objective.

No one has any idea what poster is getting at. And s/he never answered, why Patrafied instead of Petrified? Who can take seriously a person who can't spell such a basic word? Such a person blogging on MS with Joe petrifies me.

March 18, 2008 3:07 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I ain't petrified, Ms Thing. Reyes and Weiss ain't, neither. Thier laughing their asses off (mispelled on purpose) because everyone is wise to the nut you are. Shame on Higby. Shame on him!

March 18, 2008 3:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

!!!!!whoohoo panties down!!!!!

March 18, 2008 3:36 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Judging from the responses I'm reading, Petrafried (obviously a play on a word) might have hit on something. The clue is that the City Hall insiders continue to attack him/her and not the posting. Assume that his/her name is Anonymous and address the concerns that were raised. I'd like to know if there's another side to this.

March 18, 2008 4:55 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

lmao! the other side, city hall insiders clued it out. petrafried is you, loon.

March 18, 2008 5:08 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Petra-Fried is an obvious joke, are some people so stupid, they don't see the humor?

See the picture of Fried Chicken.

http://www.blogger.com/profile/12470069521208928012

March 18, 2008 5:48 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I'm not amused and its an insulting trick. Michael Higby why did you let "an obvious joke" on this board to poke fun at bloggers? And now we should feel extra stupid for taking her and this blog seriously?

March 18, 2008 6:18 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hows this?
P-P-Petra F-F-Fried In L.A.

March 18, 2008 6:31 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

@aol.dotcom

March 18, 2008 6:37 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

OMG! PetraFried is Don Quixote!

March 18, 2008 8:31 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Petrafried is the loon with the suit against the city. Emails flying around all day about her agenda at Mayor Sam. City Council is laughing their asses off. Higby please show some perpective.

March 18, 2008 9:28 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

OMG PetraFried is Elvis Presley !!!!

I knew Elvis was alive !!!!

March 18, 2008 10:10 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I knew Elvis was alive !!!!

And you would, too. Considering your psychiatric profile, Petrafried loon.

March 18, 2008 10:16 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I knew Elvis was alive !!!!

And you would, too. Considering your psychiatric profile, Petrafried loon.

March 18, 2008 10:16 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

petrafried=shar-pei face hater with cracked mirror and fried brain.higby, man, what the fuck was your thinking?

March 18, 2008 10:22 PM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

PetraFried - great post. Most commenters: goofy nonsense.

And yes, I know PetraFried, I have met PetraFried (in person) and PetraFried is NOT Zuma Dogg.

March 18, 2008 10:38 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

PetraFried is the female nut with the lawsuit against the city. Shame on you Mayor Sam going one step below LA Slimes.

March 18, 2008 10:46 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mayor Mikey,
Colossal example of bad judgement on your part with Petrafried. But you might be able to sell your load of shit spin to Obama and his minister.

March 18, 2008 10:52 PM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

You actually have it wrong. And you'd do well to back it off. You know what happens when you do what you do. I know where you're going and in fact, you're dead wrong.

So shall we say game over?

March 18, 2008 10:55 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Sorry no. And you should know better than to issue threats.

March 18, 2008 10:58 PM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

Anyway - this is really interesting. Sometime back I remember when Laura Chick was on the City Clowncil she talked about "one city, one department" as if it was some kind of mantra.

Many of the City departments have developed specialized police forces as we have seen with the park rangers, transit police, airport police, etc. It makes no sense to make them generic under the LAPD or any other department. Other than to do the Union's bidding. You may be able to consolidate some aspects of training, purchasing, etc. but the command and overall training should be independent in order to create specialized units who know how to provide the unique type of service to the departments they serve. If you move them around from LAPD to Housing to Parks, etc. they have no committment and no learned history and specialized experience.

March 18, 2008 10:59 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Who's the wacko posting? Barf in the Hat?

March 18, 2008 11:01 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Woodward and Bernstein used a malcontent for source material but they didn't let him write for the Washington Post. Take that as the good natured reality check it's meant to be.

March 18, 2008 11:01 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Or Don Quakers?

March 18, 2008 11:01 PM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

11:01 - I don't know who Barf in the Hat is but why do you ask? Remember, its the Sister City! Anything can happen!

March 18, 2008 11:02 PM  

Anonymous Shit in the Bowl said:

Mayor Villaraigosa and Chief Bratton want a politically correct SWAT Team with an equal representation of women and African American Officers. One can imagine that eventually, Hispanic, Asian and Muslim officers will also demand equal time.

March 18, 2008 11:04 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

"If I can operate Google, I can find anything... Google, combined with Wi-Fi, is a little bit like God. God is wireless, God is everywhere and God sees and knows everything. Throughout history, people connected to God without wires. Now, for many questions in the world, you ask Google, and increasingly, you can do it without wires, too."

March 18, 2008 11:05 PM  

Anonymous bill gates said:

The iPhone is a piece of shit, and
so is your face.

March 18, 2008 11:06 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Michael Higby,
Repeat. Woodward and Bernstein used a malcontent for source material but they didn't let him write for the Washington Post. Take that as the good natured reality check it's meant to be Anything less is indefensible. Thought you knew it.

March 18, 2008 11:07 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The term "protopunk" is of uncertain origins, and has proven difficult to define, and many widely different groups have been so dubbed. Most had a certain attitude or appearance seen as important, as opposed to any specific musical tendencies.

March 18, 2008 11:08 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

YES ! as D. Boon said all those years ago, PUNK ROCK SAVED MY LIFE. I am one to VALIDATE those thoughts. PUNK ROCK SAVED WHAT? My Life. OUR LIVES.

March 18, 2008 11:09 PM  

Anonymous Matt Mayhew said:

Well, if OPEC (Oil sheiks) get paid in dollars...how do you think they feel being paid in dollars that are becoming lower and lower in value? And they don't feel like taking a pay decrease. So look for them to figure out a way to keep the price above $100 a barrel (on the way to $110, $115, etc.) per barrel. An unexpected production disruption is always a good way to achieve this goal.

March 18, 2008 11:10 PM  

Anonymous Willie Wilson said:

On June 19, 2000, when the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA championship, rioters celebrated by smashing shop windows, looting, and setting police cars on fire, causing millions of dollars in damage. The LAPD stood down.

March 18, 2008 11:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Welcome to Mayor Sam's blog Mr. PetraFried, this type of post will make you a standout among the other Blogging Burros.

The blog title is "Home of Los Angeles Politics", and this is the type of stories I come here to find.

Maybe Jack Hoff and Jim Headington can learn from you.

March 18, 2008 11:12 PM  

Anonymous Horton Heard A Spanish Hoo said:

Here’s where we answer our readers’ questions. Please don’t blame us if our suggestions don’t work for you; you’re the one taking advice from a donkey.

March 18, 2008 11:13 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Put your hard hats on. PetraFried is OUT and if you had a doubt here comes her shitstorm!

March 18, 2008 11:23 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

In my head, I started humming J. Geils Band', "Musta Got Lost" about half way through this comment section.

Hoo boy, I guess that means it's time for bed. When the comments get this confusing, it says I'm out of touch with the blogging world.

Good night.

March 18, 2008 11:27 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

And good riddance.

March 18, 2008 11:28 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Huh? What is PetraFried OUT of?

March 18, 2008 11:29 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Didn't the OUT Loon say she was going to sleep?

March 18, 2008 11:34 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I am 11:27 and I said that "I" was going to sleep.

I have no idea who or what an OUT loon is. How can I be one??

All I said was that I got lost halfway through these comments. Now I'm even more lost.

What on EARTH are you talking about and is that why someone said 'good riddance' to me?

I have to work in the morning. I'm tired. I don't understand how I became a target of anonymous posters regarding a post about money that I don't even know what it was about.

Good night for real - you OUT looner.

March 18, 2008 11:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mayor Sam You have a big smelly stink-bomb. Petrafied is the nut banished from city property. How the hell are you going to hold the city council to the flame when they know your blogger is the banished nut? Stinks to high heaven and you know it Mayor Sam because no one suggested it was Zuma Dogg so why do you ask? And then you said, "you know what happens". What happens unless it's her? Zuma Dogg doesn't make these crazy posts. She owns that space. So get off your duff and get the stink-bomb off the blog for the good of everyone who needs you to keep the city on its toes and doesn't want to see a teeny weenie whiff of stink-bomb scandal here.

March 18, 2008 11:52 PM  

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