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 3, 2012

Find Your Crime Reporting District in 5th Council District in Long Beach

Take a look at the map of east side Long Beach -- Crime Reporting Districts -- and find your reporting district number. Then click on to Long Beach Police Department Crime Stats and find the crime reports for each month. In those reports you will find the Reporting Districts so that you can track crimes in your neighborhood. Not a pleasant thing to do but it gives you the information on what is happening in your neighborhood.

You can also click on to and see a map of the crimes reported by the Long Beach Police Department throughout Long Beach and by specific address.

Get involved. Get knowledgeable.

Tell the Council to Fund a Police and Fire Academy NOW

The public relations mill is working overtime touting how the Council Public Safety Committee (on which I serve as Vice Chair) recommended to City Council to develop a multi year police academy (no mention of a Fire Academy-- I am sure that will come later).

This is another example of the "Emperor has no clothes****" syndrome that has developed in Long Beach. "Oh my, how beautiful and wonderful" people are encouraged to say whenever one more report is asked of City Manager. And usually, I go along with the effort. But not this time.

Why? Because the two council members who recommended that we ask City Management for yet another report on funding a police academy (we have received 4 reports over the past 4 years) voted against funding a police academy last budget cycle even when the City had $18 million in excess oil revenue -- instead they voted for a new website for the City. Also the money is to be spent on cameras and software that spots where a shot is fired...but guess what? The Police Department hasn't been able to use the money and that money doesn't replace the 39 police officers who retired last and this year.

When I brought up the fact that the council rejected funding a police academy, my two colleagues responded -- "We wanted to make sure we had the money to keep the new officers once they were hired."

Well, folks, we had the money and we have the money so what is the problem now?

During the committee meeting, I asked (again) the Police Department how much it would cost to fund a police academy to replace the officers who are gone. The answer: $2.1 million. And because the 17 recruits are replacing 39 highly paid, highly experienced officers who retired (and the recruits will be coming in at a lower pension formula) the City will be able to keep them employed -- especially when council was just told we have an additional $5 million surplus from last year.

$23 million total more in revenues than projected and we ask for another report instead of getting the police academy scheduled and 17 police officers hired.

I pointed out that in the east side of Long Beach we are experiencing a 14 - 25% increase in residential burglaries (depending on which Police memo you look at) and this week an armed gunman broke into a house in Belmont Park and fired two shots at the homeowner. Meanwhile, almost every day the council receives alerts from the Police about yet another shooting or murder in other parts of the city. The lecture I received was to tell residents they need to lock their windows and doors.

Readers: Contact the City Council and the Mayor who promised 100 more police on the streets (and now we are down by over 200) and tell them to fund the police academy now. Because no matter how you look at it when it comes to public safety in Long Beach we have to stop pretending everything is okay.

*****Most frequently, the story is a metaphor that involves a situation wherein the overwhelming (usually unempowered) majority of observers willingly share in a collective ignorance of an obvious fact, despite individually recognizing the absurdity.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sidewalks and Lawsuits

Click here to read the latest story on how the City of LA is being sued because of sidewalks needing repairs.

Last night at the State of the 5th, we discussed our sidewalks and the fact that we the most in the 5th District and the most needing repairs. Since 2006 I have brought a number of efficiencies to sidewalk repair which has resulted in a 30% savings for the city and 30% more sidewalks being fixed. But the inventory is overwhelming.

We are working on posting a complete list of what has been repaired since I took office and what is scheduled to be repaired this year as well as the total amount of funds that have been spent on sidewalks.

I have brought in sidewalk saw cutting which reduces the costs to repair a sidewalk greatly. We also have a sidewalk rebate program which allows you to get your sidewalk repaired right away from a local contractor and the city will pay up to $500 as a rebate. This is especially helpful when you are doing other repairs on your home and want to include sidewalk repair off schedule from when the city can do it.

A reminder: sidewalks are not repaired individually by the city. We group them together by neighborhood so that the contractor can efficiently complete an entire area instead of individual sidewalks and driveway aprons.

State of the 5th Brings Citizen Suggestions

A filled community center tonight as residents came to listen to a recap of what happened in 2011 in the 5th Council District and in the remainder of the City.

My thanks to City Manager Pat West who provided a good overview of the City's top accomplishments for 2011.

I provided an extensive listing of what I accomplished last year and what is planned for the next.

Following the reviews, I asked residents to take some time to talk with each other and then to report out what they would like to see the City Council deal with. Most of those in attendance stayed through this part of the evening and had some very interesting suggestions:
  • No electronic billboards in the city
  • Ban Rvs and unattached trailers throughout the city
  • Add more Park Rangers
  • Develop corporate sponsorships to raise money for city projects
  • Bring gambling to the city
  • Automate the city's timekeeping system
  • Fund a Police Academy
We are compiling their responses and I will post them later this week.

Save Station 18

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