Notice: This is not a City of Long Beach site.

Dear Readers: Please note that this is not a City of Long Beach website and is not paid for nor maintained by taxpayer funds.

If you contact Gerrie Schipske through this site on any matter pertaining to the City of Long Beach, a copy of your contact will be forwarded to her official city email as an official public record.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Meet Our New Police Chief Jim McDonnell

I met with newly selected Chief of Police for Long Beach, Jim McDonnell two hours after the announcement of his selection. He and City Manager Pat West came to my neighborhood office and we discussed what I hope will be the Chief's priorities: honesty with the City Council about policing levels; developing a first class police academy that can become a regional center and training facility for other police agencies which will enhance the image of the Long Beach Police Department and produce revenue; upgrading our technology capabilities and continuing the high level of service currently provided by our police. I also stressed that the City needs pro-active management so that we never again have a "lobstergate" or "donning and duffing" law suit. When a problem is raised it needs to be dealt with appropriately and not ignored until it becomes an expensive lawsuit.

The Chief agreed to speak at the upcoming State of the 5th District to be held Feb 11 at 7 pm at the LB Water Treatment Plant at Spring and Redondo.

Posted below is the Chief's photo and background provided by the Los Angeles Police Department where he served as the Number 2.
First Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell
was appointed Assistant Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in October 2002 and serves as the second in command to Chief William J. Bratton. The LAPD is the third largest police department in the United States, with almost 10,000 sworn officers and 3,200 civilian employees and an annual budget of over one billion dollars.

After undertaking a major re-engineering and reform effort, the LAPD is now focused on initiatives aimed at using real-time information to further reduce crime, target gang violence, and address the threat presented by terrorism. In the past seven years, crime in Los Angeles is at historically low levels, with Part I crimes down 33.2% and homicides down 41.2%.

Chief McDonnell has served as Chief of Staff for the last five years, after having had citywide command of the Operations and Human Resources functions for the LAPD. He has served with the LAPD for 28 years and has held a wide variety of positions throughout the department. He has received numerous community and department awards, including the LAPD’s highest award for bravery, the Medal of Valor.

Chief McDonnell serves on numerous Boards of Directors that focus on furthering the interests of local youth, leadership and in the policing profession on both a local and statewide level. He is an active member of several more organizations, such as the International Association of Chiefs of Police; California Peace Officers’ Association; California Police Chiefs’ Association; Peace Officer's Association of Los Angeles County, and the Southern California Leadership Network.

Chief McDonnell holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. He is also a graduate of the FBI’s prestigious National Executive Institute, the Senior Management Institute for Police and has completed Executive Education programs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

He regularly lectures at a number of Department schools and has trained criminal justice professionals on a variety of topics, such as leadership, ethics, community policing, handling line of duty deaths, and the recruitment and retention of valuable employees. Chief McDonnell is recognized as an expert on policing issues and has lectured on these topics around the world. He currently teaches public policy issues at the University of California, Los Angeles.

First Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell has a great appreciation for the cultural diversity of the City of Los Angeles and values the contributions that all the various cultures make to the City. Chief McDonnell also clearly understands the value of diversity within the ranks of the LAPD and has worked closely with all communities in Los Angeles to understand their specific needs and concerns and to strengthen the relationship between the LAPD and all of the communities that are served.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Council Vote on Locations of Medical Marijuana Collectives May Violate Federal Law

Council vote on locations of medical marijuana collectives may violate federal law – says Schipske. Federal Safe and Drug Free Communities Requires 1,000 foot Buffer and Includes Playgrounds and Youth Centers

February 3, 2010

Fifth District Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske today expressed her concerns that the City Council’s vote to allow medical marijuana collectives within 500 feet of elementary and middle schools may violate the federal Safe and Drug Free Communities Act.

“Federal law still considers marijuana a controlled substance and as such the Federal Safe and Drug Free Communities Act prohibits anyone from distributing, possessing with intent to distribute, or manufacturing a controlled substance in or on, or within one thousand feet of, the real property comprising a public or private elementary, vocational, or secondary school or a public or private college, junior college, or university, or a playground, or housing facility owned by a public housing authority, or within 100 feet of a public or private youth center, public swimming pool, or video arcade facility,” explains Schipske.

Schipske adds that not only did the Council ignore the federal buffer zone of 1,000 feet but also the request of the Long Beach Unified School District “that medical marijuana collectives not be allowed closer than 1,500 feet from all schools in the City.”

“The City Council voted 6-3 last night to allow these collectives within 500 feet of elementary and middle schools and 1,500 feet from high schools,” says Schipske who was one of the three Council members in opposition. “Additionally, the Council voted to allow these collectives near playgrounds and youth centers.”

“Unless and until the federal government removes marijuana as a controlled substance, the City has no business changing the ‘drug-free’ buffer zones for schools, playgrounds and youth centers.”

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Long Beach Designated Olympic Gateway Airport

The Long Beach Airport has been designated by the federal government as one of the sixteen gateway airports for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia. It is the only gateway airport in California.

Beginning January 29m 2010, private aircraft heading to Vancouver from the U.S. must be cleared by the TSA at one of the gateway airports before going on to Vancouver. Long Beach's Airport's central location, general aviation facilities, and infrastructure made it a logical choice for the southwestern U.S.

Airport staff is working closely with federal agencies, Airport businesses and users to ensure that aircraft traffic during this time is handled efficiently.

Monday, February 1, 2010

AYSO Proposal to Put Lights in Soccer Field at Willow Street and Studebaker Road

Posted to the right on this page is the proposal presented by AYSO Soccer to place lights on the soccer field at Willow Street and Studebaker Road.

I do not have a staff report to post at this time and am asking that one be done to document the impact of these lights and any alternatives explored.

I have held two community meetings on this issue and asked that the Parks, Recreation and Marine Commission hold an informational meeting to obtain neighborhood in-put. I understand that the notice to these residents was defective and that another meeting is scheduled for this purposed.

In the meanwhile, please email me at: with your opinion.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Haiti Relief and Redevelopment

Don't forget that today is the fundraiser in Good Neighbor Park for relief in Haiti. It is commendable that residents organized this event. I will be there later to make some remarks. Stop by and hear the Elm Street Band.

Have been up in Pasadena because of the birth of my granddaughter. Spent some time in Old Town Pasadena. Wow. What a nice place. Lots of restaurants, shops and people of all kinds walking around and enjoying an evening out. I didn't see a trolley anywhere but a lot of public buses. Whatever Pasadena did to develop its downtown we might want to look at and use it.

Save Station 18

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