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Mar 2023
More Than 20 People Have Died On LA's Metro Bus In 2023: Report
Law Enforcement News

More Than 20 People Have Died On LA's Metro Bus In 2023: Report

According to a report from the LA Times, over 20 people have died this year while riding on the LA Metro, most of them from drug overdoses. The issue is raising questions of Metro safety. Homelessness, crime and drug use are prominent on the Metro, but now the LA Times is reporting that 22 people died on the Metro from drug overdoses in 2023. "This is not the kind of problem that can be solved overnight," said Jennifer Vides, Metro's Chief Customer Experience Officer. She said the article failed to mention what Metro is doing with the new reimagined safety program. The program includes adding 300 unarmed ambassadors, a request for additional safety, enforcing drug prohibition and increasing homeless outreach. "Our position is that there shouldn't be open drug use on our system. Our position is that there should be absolutely no assault.s, no crime. on our system," Vides added. Metro said the crackdown on drug use by law enforcement has resulted in more than 200 arrests in the month of February.

FOX 11

Police Arrest Woman In Connection To Fatal Hit-and-Run Of San Pedro Cyclist

A woman has been arrested in connection to the fatal hit-and-run of a San Pedro cyclist. Surveillance video from a nearby business captured the moment on March 4 when a woman identified by police as Anisha Lockhart struck 51-year-old Oscar Montoya. He was riding his bike going northbound on Pacific Avenue just south of Channel Street. Lockhart can be seen stopping for a few seconds then continuing heading northbound on Pacific Avenue before getting to the 110 Freeway. Montoya suffered severe injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by first responders. Police were offering a $50,000 reward to anyone who had any information that would lead to the arrest of the driver who killed Montoya. On March 7 a tip led authorities to the driver's vehicle, a 2009 Scion XB, which was taken into custody. A few days later on March 9 detectives from the South Traffic Division utilized department resources and other tips to arrest Lockhart.


LAPD Seeks Public’s Help In Identifying Hit-and-Run Driver

The Los Angeles Police Department is hoping the public can help investigators identify the hit-and-run driver who killed a pedestrian in Palms last month. The Feb. 26 collision occurred around 1:15 a.m. when a compact SUV headed west on Venice boulevard hit a pedestrian lying in the roadway of Robertson Boulevard, police said in a news release. The victim, who was outside of a crosswalk when he was struck, succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital after the collision. The driver of the SUV, which might be blue in color, fled the scene and did not stop to help or identify themselves, police said. Video of the suspected vehicle is available on the LAPD’s YouTube channel. Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives at 213-473-0234. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls can also be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247).


Burglars Are Caught On Video Unsuccessfully Trying To Steal From Downtown LA Check Cashing Business

Surveillance video captured burglars breaking into a check cashing business in downtown L.A. around 3 a.m. Tuesday. The group used sledgehammers and other tools to try to get into the secured backroom and ATM machine inside the lobby. Video shows the burglars even try to cut through the ceiling before leaving with nothing. The business sustained significant damage in the burglary attempt. The owner says he's been at this location since 1984 and nothing like this has ever happened before. 


Investigators Seeking Help Identifying Women Connected To Multi-County String Of Thefts At Rite Aids

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department investigators are seeking help from the public in identifying two women who they believe are connected to a string of robberies that have occurred at Ride Aid locations in Los Angeles, Riverside and Ventura counties. Thus far, robberies have occurred at Rite Aid stores in Agoura Hills, Calabasas and Thousand Oaks, a statement from LASD said. During incidents, the two women are said to have stolen skin care products by concealing them in tote bags while leaving the store. "The suspects entered an awaiting BMW sedan," the statement said. Photos included in a public release included those taken of the pair during a robbery in Riverside on Feb. 22. Anyone who recognizes the suspects or who has additional information on the case is asked to contact detectives at (818) 878-1808.


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One Arrested In Beverly Hills Prowling Case

One person is in custody Thursday in connection with a prowling incident in Beverly Hills. Beverly Hills Police Department officers received a call just after 9 p.m. Wednesday regarding a prowler near North Elm Drive and Elevado Avenue, Sgt. Lynnsey Diamond told City News Service. Officers set up a perimeter and detained one person before midnight, Diamond said. According to KCAL News, police were also searching for a parolee who had removed his ankle bracelet but Diamond said he had not been arrested.


$250,000 Reward Offered For Missing California Girl Whose Mother Was Found Murdered

Authorities are offering a $250,000 reward for information on a missing girl whose mother was found murdered in San Francisco in 2016. The missing girl, Arianna Fitts, now 9 years old, went missing on April 5, 2016, when she was only 2 years old after her mother, Nicole “Nikki” Fitts was found murdered. An age progression image of how Arianna might look today was released by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). “Investigators and NCMEC believe Arianna could still be alive and they’re asking the public to pay attention to her age progression image,” officials said. FBI investigators say the search for Arianna has extended nationwide and believe some witnesses have relocated to areas throughout California and Nevada. Nikki was a single mother who worked nights and hired a babysitter to take care of Arianna, her family said. It was a temporary solution until she could get back on her feet.


Bystander Rushes To Aid Wounded New Jersey Officer After Shooting

A Deptford police officer remains hospitalized but is making progress after a Friday shooting that left another man dead, officials said. Donations for the officer continue to flow in as an investigation into the incident continues. Officer Robert Shisler stopped pedestrian Mitchell Negron, Jr., 24, of Deptford, shortly after 12:30 p.m. on Delsea Drive, according to the state Attorney General’s Office, which is investigating the shooting. Negron took off running and Shisler chased after him before both men were shot in a struggle on Doman Avenue, according to investigators. Negron died at the scene, while Shisler suffered a leg wound. Authorities have not officially discussed how the shooting occurred or provided details about why Negron was stopped. A neighbor who saw the injured officer applied pressure on the wound until another Deptford cop, Detective Sgt. Bob Jones, arrived at the scene and applied a tourniquet to slow the blood loss, according to a source. While Jones was first on the scene, other Deptford officers quickly followed to help the fallen officer.


Watch: Michigan Officers Rescue Sleeping Residents From Burning Apartment Building

Police officers in Farmington Hills were quick to rescue the sleeping occupants of a burning apartment building Sunday morning. Body camera footage showed officers arriving at the fire at the Country Glen Condominiums, Fox 2 reported. “They had to check systematically every apartment, because they weren’t getting a lot of responses,” Police Chief Jeff King told WDIV. Officers went to the top floor and banged on every door to get the occupants to safety. Officers also rescued a dog inside the burning building , after being told that the owner was trying to force their way back inside for the pet. "The courage displayed by these police officers and firefighters highlights their professionalism and underscores the dangers they face in the line of duty," said King. There were no reported injuries and the cause of the fire is being investigated by the Farmington Hills Fire Department. 


Public Safety News

Crews Rescue Man From Rain-Swollen Los Angeles River In Boyle Heights

A dramatic rescue captured on video showed the moment crews hoisted a man to safety after he became trapped in the rain-swollen Los Angeles River in Boyle Heights Wednesday afternoon. LAFD crews responded to a report of a person in distress just after 5 p.m. Aerial footage showed the victim holding on for dear life next to a concrete wall as crews tried to rescue him from the raging river. It's unclear how the man became trapped, but he was in the water for at least 30 minutes. Crews called for a fire department helicopter and lowered a rescue worker down to get a hold of him. Despite battling the fast-moving water, the victim was able to latch on to the first responder and get hoisted into the chopper. The victim, a 51-year-old man, was taken to L.A. County + USC Medical Center to be treated for hypothermia.


Los Angeles County Logs 13 More COVID-19 Deaths

Los Angeles County reported another 13 COVID-19-related deaths and 643 new infections in its latest data. The new fatalities lifted the county’s death toll from throughout the pandemic to 35,864. A majority of people who die with COVID-19 are elderly or have an underlying health condition such as diabetes, heart disease or hypertension, health officials have said. The 643 new infections gave the county a cumulative case number from throughout the pandemic of 3,717,526. Overall case reports from the county are considered to be undercounts of actual virus activity, due to the number of people who use at-home tests and don’t report the results, or those who don’t bother testing at all. According to state figures, there were 487 COVID-positive patients in Los Angeles County hospitals as of Wednesday, up slightly from 474 on Tuesday. Of those patients, 55 were being treated in intensive care units, down slightly from 56 a day earlier.


Local Government News

LA Council Approves $1 Million For Unarmed Crisis Response Program

The City Council unanimously approved $1 million Wednesday to fund and create the Office of Unarmed Response and Safety, which council members said is necessary to expand the 9-8-8 suicide and crisis hotline to include an unarmed crisis response. According to a motion by council members Bob Blumenfield, Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Eunisses Hernandez, the new office will require at least three staff members to solely focus on the expansion of the city’s Crisis and Incident Response Community-Led Engagement program and unarmed crisis response teams. “I know we are excited and want to have a robust network of alternative responders,’” Blumenfield said. “We know that when someone calls 911 at a time of crisis, the live-saving impact is about who responds and with what resources they have to respond to.” The Office of Unarmed Response and Safety will require a principle project coordinator to oversee the work of two senior project coordinators or management analysts, with one position focused on data collection and analysis, according to the motion.

Los Angeles Daily News

Mayor Karen Bass Says The City Will House 4,000 Homeless People During Her First 100 Days

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said Wednesday that she expects the city will have housed more than 4,000 homeless Angelenos by the time she reaches her 100th day in office. Bass, appearing with her team at a City Hall discussion on homelessness, said she expects about 1,000 of those people will come from her Inside Safe program, which has been taking unhoused people off the streets and checking them into city-leased hotels and motels. Of the remaining 3,000, the vast majority are benefiting from housing programs put into motion before Bass took office, her team said. The mayor reaches her 100th day on Tuesday. Inside Safe has gone to 13 locations so far, heading most recently into Echo Park and skid row. Those operations have brought more than 500 people indoors so far, including 62 who have entered permanent housing with supportive services, the mayor’s team said. Between now and next week, Bass intends to get to 1,000 in part by carrying out more encampment operations. In addition, unhoused people are being moved out of winter weather homeless shelters and into temporary housing, including the L.A. Grand Hotel, which has been serving as a city homeless facility since the outbreak of COVID-19.

Los Angeles Times

Councilwoman Calls For 2028 Olympic Games Energy Plan

Councilwoman Traci Park introduced a motion calling for details on the development of a comprehensive energy plan to ensure adequate energy resources for all venues and events associated with the 2028 Olympic Games and the wider community. In December 2021, the City Council approved an Olympic Games agreement, which established the roles and responsibilities of different partners in the much-anticipated event. That agreement included the creation of an energy council by April 3, 2024, charged with ensuring adequate power infrastructure and sustainability objectives. The energy council would facilitate close coordination between the city, the LA 28 organizing committee for the Games and other parties. Park's motion calls on city departments to report back on the status of the energy council's creation to ensure the city meets the 2024 goal. “I am confident that this motion highlights the critical importance of collaboration and teamwork in developing a sustainable energy program,” Park said in a statement. 


About the LAPPL: Formed in 1923, the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) represents more than 9,200 dedicated and professional sworn members of the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPPL serves to advance the interests of LAPD officers through legislative and legal advocacy, political action and education.

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