Local organizations protest for justice from the LBPD

About 20 people gathered outside of Long Beach City Hall Tuesday evening chattering among themselves when one amplified voice broke through the conversations. “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now,” Winston De Laurier, one of the leaders present at the ANSWER Coalition’s protest, cried out over his megaphone to those inside the building and people passing. He called for the firing of chief Robert Luna, and asked police to look back into potential false convictions and end alleged cover-ups. The crowd surrounding De Laurier was made up of members from organizations such as People of Long Beach, a local Black Lives Matter chapter and the Long Beach Reform Coalition. The protest was fueled by what they believe to be a series of scandals surrounding the Long Beach Police Department, along with a recent report from Al Jazeera in which unnamed current and former officers claimed that the department was using self-deleting messaging app Tiger Text to conceal communications and evidence among themselves. “[The] ANSWER Coalition called this rally in the hopes that community members and other organizations would come out to take a stand against LBPD,” Doug Kauffman, rally organizer from the ANSWER Coalition, said. “[To

Long Beach City Council approves pilot program to equip more police with body cameras

Following the original pilot program in November 2016, the Long Beach City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to begin a second program to equip Long Beach Police Department officers with body cameras. The city awarded a one-year contract to technology and weapons tech company, Axon Enterprise Inc. The contract contains both the options to renew the program for three additional six-month periods or to cancel following a review after six months. Two-hundred LBPD officers will receive body cameras under the program. The original program ran from November 2016-17, in which 40 cameras were issued out to West Division patrol officers. The cameras were still used by the officers following the conclusion of the program. Although the initial pilot program wasn’t intended to add additional costs to the city, the contract does state that if it is renewed, the program will require three full-time staff members at an estimated full cost of $353,186. If the program were to become permanent, it would require eight positions for an estimated cost of nearly $1 million. “I think we are past due the time having these body cameras in place,” District 3 Councilwoman, Suzie Price said. “While I understand what has taken us so long

By | 2018-05-19T14:38:39-07:00 May 19, 2018 | 2:16 pm|Categories: Long Beach, News, Today|Tags: , , , , , |

Long Beach Police taking over Metro patrols

Long Beach residents riding the Metro Blue Line will start to notice some familiar badges after the city council approved legislation Tuesday that will give the LB Police Department jurisdiction over the Metro. The council approved the final contract between the Metro Board and LBPD that will replace the current metro staff of Los Angeles Police Department officers with Long Beach officers. The change will take effect beginning this summer, while LBPD takes the next few months to hire on 30 new officers for the metro division. The new hires will patrol the eight stations included in the Metro Blue Line, as well as all the ground in between. Mayor Robert Garcia, who has a position on the Metro board, voiced his enthusiasm for the new division. “It’s not everyday that this council gets to vote to add 30 new LBPD officers,” Garcia said. By putting LBPD in charge of the Blue Line, the city hopes to decrease response time from 12 minutes to five minutes, as well as increase coverage throughout the city over a 24-hour period to improve public safety as a whole, according to Vice Mayor Rex Richardson. The council hopes to provide a sense of familiarity

By | 2017-03-08T20:56:09-07:00 Mar 8, 2017 | 8:56 pm|Categories: Long Beach, News|Tags: , , , |