June 20, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Getting Rid of Armed Metro Guards?

“We cannot rely on an armed police presence for every issue,” says Councilmember Mike Bonin.

By Sam Catanzaro

Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin is calling on LA Metro to get rid of armed law enforcement officers on the nation’s third-largest transit system.

In a motion co-sponsored by County Supervisor Janice Hahn and County Supervisor Hilda Solis, also members of the board, Bonin–a member of the Board of Directors of LA Metro–urged Metro to rethink safety on the transit system, with a goal of creating alternative responses to nonviolent crimes and other offenses. Potential alternatives would include: a transit ambassador program that provides staffed presence at Metro facilities and on Metro vehicles; and social workers, mediators, or mental health professionals.

The Metro Expo Line has experienced two violent incidents in the past year, it should be noted. In August 2019, a group of teenagers was attacked and robbed by another group of teenagers after getting off a Metro Expo Line train in Culver City. In March of this year, four minors were taken into custody after a Santa Monica man was stabbed in a violent confrontation on the Expo Line in West Los Angeles.

Bonin’s motion comes as jurisdictions around the country are considering similar approaches to public safety. Earlier this week, several of Bonin’s colleagues on the Los Angeles City Council called for a new emergency-response model that uses trained specialists, rather than LAPD officers, to respond to many types of calls, including those regarding homelessness, mental health, and substance abuse issues. Bonin and colleagues also proposed the creation of a City of Los Angeles Office of Violence Prevention.

“Around the country and all over Los Angeles, people are reimagining how to provide public safety,” Bonin said. “Metro needs to be at the forefront of that, and make changes that assure that all of its passengers feel safe. That starts by acknowledging that we cannot rely on an armed police presence for every issue, and we need smarter, more effective solutions.”

Bonin’s motion directs LA Metro to develop the new policies and approaches in consultation with passengers and community members representative of the agency’s ridership, including but not limited to racial, gender, income, geography, immigration status and housing status. It would do so through a Transit Public Safety Advisory Committee, working with LA Metro’s Office of Civil Rights, Executive Officer for Equity & Race, and Executive Officer for Customer Experience.

Bonin noted it was crucial for LA Metro to make changes, given a history of complaints of racial bias in policy, particularly from younger Blacks and Latinos. “For years, Metro has heard that its system of policing was making huge segments of its passengers feel less safe and feel threatened. This is our moment to change that.”

Bonin is also submitting motions, co-sponsored by Solis, in response to a decision by LA Metro to suspend passenger service on May 30, stranding many passengers in the middle of a curfew, and a separate decision the same day to allow Metro buses to be used to transport detainees who had been arrested for curfew violations or failure to disperse during the protests. The motions call for new rules to prohibit the use of vehicles for detainee transport and new protocols regarding suspensions of service.

All three motions are expected to be considered by the full Metro Board of Directors at the Board’s June 25 meeting.

Related Posts

Santa Monica Aligns Mask Orders with LA County

June 17, 2021

June 17, 2021

On June 15, Interim City Manager Lane Dilg signed the 37th supplement to align Santa Monica’s local emergency provisions with Los Angeles County...

Former Santa Monica Resident Sentenced to Federal Prison for Embezzling More Than $22 Million from Employer

June 17, 2021

June 17, 2021

A former executive at a Hollywood-based digital marketing company that represents influencers on Instagram and YouTube was sentenced recently to...

Edify TV: Tourism Returning to Santa Monica?

June 17, 2021

June 17, 2021

A busy Memorial Day weekend in which Santa Monica hotel occupancy rates reached their highest levels since the pandemic began...

Santa Monica College Cancels Fireworks Show, Main Street Parade Also Off

June 17, 2021

June 17, 2021

Firework shows in Marina del Rey and Pacific Palisades back this year By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica College (SMC) has...

Summer Safety Tips When Hiking and Biking Outdoors

June 17, 2021

June 17, 2021

LAFD Captain Erik Scott gives us tips on staying safe while enjoying the mountains this summer. Brought to you by...

Edify TV: Closing Expo Line Bike Path Gap?

June 15, 2021

June 15, 2021

Plans are in the works to close a frustrating gap in the Expo Line Bike Path. Learn more in this...

Markedly Different Reactions to Sheriff’s Plan to Clear Boardwalk Encampments

June 15, 2021

June 15, 2021

Plan to clear Boardwalk by Fourth of July met with applause, condemnation By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex...

Edify TV: Westside Vandalism Suspect Arrested

June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021

A man has been arrested in connection with a series of Westside vandalisms in West L.A., including at a local...

Loved Ones Ashes Stolen From Families Car In Santa Monica: Santa Monica Beat – June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Loved Ones Ashes Stolen From Families Car In Santa Monica *...

LA County Lifeguards Return to Summer Staffing Levels as Heat Wave Rolls Through

June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021

Triple digit temperatures expected for inland LA County this week  By Sam Catanzaro As summer heats up, Los Angeles County...

Martin Cadillac Redevelopment Takes Shape on Olympic Near Bundy

June 11, 2021

June 11, 2021

West Edge development underway near Expo/Bundy station By Sam Catanzaro Wood and concrete framing is now visible at the Martin...

Sheriff Villanueva Announces Plan to Clear Encampments by July 4th

June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021

LASD Homeless Outreach Services Team visits Venice Boardwalk Tuesday By Sam Catanzaro Deputies were on the Venice Beach Boardwalk Tuesday...