On Thursday, February 18, 2016, the Board of Directors of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance met. The main topic of conversation was a request from LAPD Captain Peter Zarcone, commanding officer of Hollywood Station, to the BID to arrange for the BID Patrol to work until 4 a.m.1 The idea seems to be that this would relieve the LAPD somewhat. The HPOA has been in conversation with Mitch O’Farrell, who is said to be eager to pay for some or all of this project out of his discretionary funds. There was also a brief mention of plans to deputize the BID Patrol so that they would be able to issue citations. I will be writing much more about this, but I wanted to get it up here soonest, since it ended up taking far longer than I expected to transcribe the discussion, which went on for over forty minutes. You can see the first part beginning here, and it’s continued in the second part here. Transcription after the break.
John Tronson: We did not have our security committee meeting this month. We just did not have enough security committee members that were able to make it. So, we, the majority of our security actions were spending time reviewing LAPD’s request to put out a security force in the nighttime hours. That work consisted of meeting with several key stakeholders who’ve been around the BID for a long period of time and getting their thoughts about the benefits of putting some nighttime security out there in lieu of daytime deployments, speaking with staff about the issues, speaking with Andrews about the issues. The general consensus was that the daytime deployment was critical, and that, we wanted to do, that’s number one. Number two is we want to do everything we can to accomodate Captain Zarcone’s request. So the other thing we did is we met with Mitch O’Farrell’s office. Mitch and his deputy chief of staff, I believe, and they were extremely positive in providing us funding to launch a pilot program.
Kerry Morrison: Providing it or considering it?
JT: Well, they were definitely considering it, but they sounded very excited about it, I mean, either he was really blowing smoke or it sounded like that he really thought this was a good idea and he could make it happen. Now, you haven’t gotten a confirmation back one way or the other?
Bill Farrar: I have not. I’ve put a couple of calls [unintelligible] to connect with them.
JT: [unintelligible] couple of different scenarios, where we could do it for, Joe, remind me what the numbers were, was it $84,000 for 12 weeks and then $175,000 for twice that amount of time? And Mitch was gravitating toward the longer period of time, he really thought it was important, which is a good indication that he wanted it, to do this in earnest. So the conclusion that we arrived at, just this is for a recommendation perspective, and Bill, you can elaborate further, but it would be to not erode the daytime, or, really more patrol our daytime population. The more we discussed it, the more we recollected the problems that occurred the last time we tried to do that. The, sort of the increase, and there has been an increase in crime, but, and it’s primarily in the evening, but it’s also been increasing during the day. So, and the majority of our stakeholders have their businesses open during regular business hours, so the conclusion that we came to was we want to fund this program, and I’ll let Bill discuss exactly how best to do that, but not by taking it out of our daytime deployment. Does that sound right?
BF: That sounds perfect. So, just to, if you look at this handout that you all have, talking about a schedule, you’ll see the very first one shows the current schedule of deployment, and let me emphasize that this is for Hollywood Entertainment District only, this does not show the Sunset & Vine deployment. The two do complement each other and assist each other, but we’re looking strictly at the Hollywood Entertainment District deployment [unintelligible], and that runs [unintelligible], if you follow me on here you see Monday through Thursday how many people that we are deploying. Unless otherwise indicated, everything on there indicates an armed officer. The green highlight is unarmed officers, for a total of 488 hours per week. And this is, our coverage is, from 6 o’clock in the morning until 8:30 at night. Now, trying to have the least impact on taking any resources away or all of the resources away, flip page. Steve worked along with Joe and came up with some very hard but very good suggestions here, and taking armed officers, hiring some more unarmed officers and blending the two teams together. So it, we’ll see, at 6 o’clock in the morning we’ll be bringing on an armed supervisor along with a mixed team, and that’s highlighted in blue, an unarmed officer along with an armed officer. Later on we will bring in some more unarmed officers, and at 12 o’clock we would bring in another mixed team. That would run Monday through Wednesday, that particular type of [unintelligible] deployment. Later on in the week, Thursday through Saturday, we’re bringing in at 7:30 at night till 4 in the morning, only armed teams. Now what it would be, it would be two armed teams, two-man teams, plus an armed supervisor. This entire scenario increases our coverage hours from four hundred eighty eight to six hundred hours by grouping the teams together. So you’re getting more visibility for it, but I will point out, there may be some drawbacks, putting an unarmed officer with an armed officer [unintelligible]. In that particular scenario [unintelligible] you get a grand total of a hundred and thirty five hours per week, so you’re increasing your hours and you’re reducing your cost. The third scenario is a proposed armed schedule and deployment where we are not [unintelligible]. We are actually adding a few more armed officers. We’re moving a slight amount of deployment during the day to be able to deploy it on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, but we are still covering the entire hours from 6 in the morning until 8:30 at night that we would be doing. And then on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, adding those two two officer teams, both armed, and the armed supervisor. This increases it from, by 40 hours per week from 488 to five hundred and twenty eight, but it increases the cost twenty three hundred dollars a week. These we thought would be good contingency plans to be able to run for a while, while CD13 take a look at their options. It’ll give us some working time, it’ll give us some testing time, whether we want to go for a blended plan or spend a little bit more money if you guys [unintelligible] and stick with, for the most part, armed teams as we have in the past. Which, frankly, is probably a little safer, [unintelligible], I do have to stress, cause folks have said [unintelligible] what is your mission out there. Well, our responsibility has always been quality of life. It’s been identifying problems and finding solutions whenever possible, and taking enforcement if and only if we have to. That doesn’t change. That doesn’t change during the day. That doesn’t change at night. That allows us to take care of those particular types of things which hopefully allows Captain Zarcone’s people to be free from those type of [unintelligible] and to attend to the more serious crimes that have been [unintelligible]. Hopefully it’s been a very successful [unintelligible] during the day. There shouldn’t be a lot of reasons why it couldn’t be successful at night, it’s worthwhile thinking about. Captain, do you have anything to add to that?
Peter Zarcone: The only thing that I would add is the, you know, I understand completely everybody’s reluctance to take stuff off the six in the morning shift, getting out there and trying to make it more livable for the businesses, the majority of businesses that are open during the day. I would just submit there are a lot of businesses that are open, and it’s not just the clubs, there’s a lot of business open late at night, and to go back to my original argument when we first talked about this, the crime statistics show very, very clearly that in those early morning hours when we’re worried about cleaning things up, crime is at its lowest point. And that’s across the whole city, that [unintelligible] as well. So, where we need the visibility, because what we’ve found out through the whole compstat process of putting police officers where we put them is when you put cops on the dots so to speak, dots being where the crimes are occuring. If you put a visible presence there, and the BID officers do count as a visible presence, they work, they’re seen as somebody you don’t want to commit a crime in front of. The more I can get out there visible at night the better effect we’re going to have. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were chosen for the pilot program because Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are by and far the biggest crime days in the evening hours. So, to me it makes sense to do it, [unintelligible] support your decision to do that, that’s what I’m asking for.
JT: Steve, do you have any comments?
Steve Seyler: Yeah, the last plan Bill talked about has five [unintelligible]. Actually optimal would be to have ten [unintelligible]. That would be safe. We could do it and not lose any [unintelligible]. As I did about a four month study, I can tell you on radio calls in the first four hours, six to ten, is about 20% of our calls, our arrests, that’s about 36%. So there is a lot, the crime stats are low but we’re doing a lot of things. Our mid four hours, our arrests are 35%, and then those last shifts are 46. So, and the same for the hourly calls for service. The first four hours, 27%, the next four hours 33%, the next four 30% and then just 10% in the last couple hours. We’re busy all through the day, which shows that even on [unintelligible] is there a day where we can cut back? Well, we already have. Sunday [unintelligible], we’ve already cut back there. Sort of, I believe our deployment is pretty much optimal, which we’ve learned over time, but the statistics back that up. So, even if we could add those two extra shifts I would feel safe doing this. Optimally, we could just fund the whole thing with what we have now, but that’s [unintelligible] 7000. But I feel we could compromise, it would really help to get those ten extra shifts and then we won’t lose our [unintelligible] impact. Otherwise what really hurts is the 12 to 8 pm shift but we can see we’re actually doing a lot of stuff then too so, I think that we can give up the morning, but I think that we can add the night…
Kerry Morrison: So question, with the number of private person’s arrests that you’re doing in the early morning and the day quadrant. By shifting to one armed with an unarmed, how does that impact officer safety and the ability to handle some of these instances that, you know, might be quite challenging? Are there, would there be some instances that you would just have to back off and just call the LAPD? What do you see in terms of change of operations?
SS: Pretty drastic. It’s untested. I was just asked to come up with scenarios. I’m not in the corner of this particular one. The armed officer’s going to be in the position where he’s going to have to look out for this other guy. This other guy’s going to have much less training. So working, we work for you guys. We’re game to try anything. We’ll do it as safely as we can. We’ve had defensive tactics training all day today. We’re in the process of night shooting, because we don’t know if this is going to happen or not, but we’re going to hit the ground running, we’re already training for it. Assuming that something is probably going to happen, so, like I said, we’re shooting now, our guys are going to the range just using a flashlight, we’re gearing up for everything we can, so we’ll do it as safely as we can.
JT: You know what, I just want to mention so the board understands sort of the level of analysis that we’ve gone through with this request that you know, we just, as Bill said, it’s quality of life is really what we’re out there trying to accomplish. And there’s a lot of work that gets done on that front and a lot of positive work in that early morning shift. We’re coming up against BID renewal in a couple years.
KM: Yeah, we’re going to start working on it this summer.
JT: That’s right, so one of the main things, half our budget goes to security. One of the main things people want is when they call us, we respond. A lot of our issues are quality of life issues, and LAPD can’t get there in a timely manner just because it’s not a priority issue, and then there’s an argument to be made that they shouldn’t even go there, because our guys can go there and solve the problem, you know, relatively easily, and they’re busy working on bigger, badder things. One of the reasons why we were so cautious to pull a significant number of people off either the early morning or the middle of the day was, you know, when we get into a situation where we’ve got to arrest somebody, and you’ve got to take him down to PD, then you take that team off, and [unintelligible] you know, the call volume has gone up so much in the last couple years and we really don’t have any more people on the streets to respond to these things, so our ability to respond has been eroding just simply because we have a management district plan that calls for X amount of dollars that can only be spent through X amount of hours of deployment yet when the call volume goes up significantly it’s harder for us to even get there. So we’ve been, that’s why we’ve been reluctant in just pulling people off [unintelligible] in the daytime. So, at the end of the day, we think we’ve got a couple of scenarios that, you know, the board, you know, should they be interested, then, you know, can weigh in on. And are you looking for a formal approval, Monica?
Monica Yamada: I think that at least the board should have a discussion [unintelligible] a lot of information. Until we have a discussion and hear what the room has to say, I don’t think [unintelligible].
Unidentified Interlocutor: I have a quick question. Did you ever find in history, past history, you’ve been on the board for a long time, that there’s a difference during the time of the year when it, you know, becomes day-light earlier, later, does that have any kind of an impact number one, and number two, do a lot of the calls have to do with homeless people and getting them off the street or, you know, out of the…
JT: In the morning.
UI: In the morning?
JT: Sure. I know there’s a lot of homeless calls that just come in in general, because there’s some mental health issues, or there’s, you know, people running down the middle of the street. As Carol Massie has explained at the security meeting there’s like, you know, a naked guy who jumps up on a counter in the middle of McDonald’s, on the service counter, I mean, there’s some things going on with drug users…
Steve Seyler: Quick example, today at Denny’s, a guy was going nuts in there, and challenged our officers, we had to pepper spray him, he had ingested two cans of that computer keyboard cleaner stuff, and they got him with the cans and they had to take him to the hospital. But that’s the kind of issues. And the calls for service are up over last year’s pace, for the record. Not drastically, by about 50, but still, we’re maintaining that pace. So that’s why last year, things like arrests, business checks, high visibility patrols, dropped some, because we’re handling radio calls and driving back and forth and we’re facing the same thing this year, it hasn’t slowed down at all. We will have [unintelligible] over the summer, get more busy, we look forward to the rainy season because usually it clears the sidewalk. What we found this year earlier, it just drove everybody inside, and then we’re calling all kinds of calls for service cause we’ve got a whole horde of people huddling from the rain and causing troubles, you know, I’m, [unintelligible] and substance abuse are the issues, primarily.
JT: I mean, ideally for me we would approve the pilot program as soon as possible, and we would give the staff and the security committee and Andrews the flexibility to try different deployment schemes as outlined here, to fund this project initially, with the ideal ending that CD13 provides some of their discretionary funds, we can go back to our hundred percent daytime deployment as it is today, and then fully fund the pilot project for an extended period of time. Just to remind everybody, one of the benefits of doing this is we are, we would like to have some data, some hard data and some anecdotal evidence about the benefits of being out, of having the security force out at night, because when we go through a BID renewal process, there are a significant number of stakeholders that are talking about going to a more extended security, like nighttime patrols. So this would provide that information, you know, is it beneficial? Let’s see how we would get, you know, Andrews’ experience, we could see how dangerous it really is out there, or whether it’s a walk in the park, or, you know, whether we’re making more arrests or less arrests or all those things.
Chad Lewis: So John, I’m just trying to back some of the numbers in. So it looks like version two as proposed is a wash, version three is about twenty four hundred a month, which is ten thousand, or a hundred and sixteen thousand per year. So, but then I heard you say but what you would like…
Steve Seyler: That I consider is minimal…
CL: But what you said, for you, if you had…make the ask.
SS: I would double that into ten additional shifts, and then I could put both of them in that middle area. Our [unintelligible] system is built on overlaps. Teams start at six, ten, twelve, and there’s always an overlap, so there’s always people to back each other, but the way some of these scenarios work out there would only be two officers in Hollywood, two in Sunset, from twelve to eight, for eight hours…
MY: And that’s forty five hundred per week?
CL: So then the ask in the discussion with Mitch. Were they going to…
JT: We’re just talking about him funding the nighttime program. Our deployment will stay the same.
CL: Got it.
Kerry Morrison: [unintelligible] like eighty five thousand…
Joe Mariani: For twelve weeks, seven thousand a week, if we kept everything the same and when we added five officers three days a week in that nighttime shift, it’s seven thousand dollars a week. And so that’s the eighty four thousand for twelve weeks.
John Tronson: So Captain, when we were talking with Mitch, do you really need those guys, the five nighttime guys, from three to four? Because we were just wondering, it seems like just maybe, things with the, the running of the bulls at two o’clock, everybody goes out…
Peter Zarcone: And well, the problem is, what we have is that there are a select number of businesses that are able to stay open till four, and because of those there’s a concentration of people from two to four that just hang, they don’t go anywhere. They just hang out. So that’s why it’s pretty critical to have a physical presence out there.
Unidentified Interlocutor 2: Where are those dots, [unintelligible] if we were to concentrate people in an area, is there a…
PZ: The four o’clock attractants are the hookah lounges, playhouse…
UI2: But is it kind of in a concentrated area?
PZ: Somewhat, yeah.
UI2: So maybe our deployment, if it’s not as large, could be concentrated in the area where, you know, the real [unintelligible] instead of trying to cover the whole…
JT: Yeah, technically we’ve got to provide security for the entire district. So practically we might spend a little bit more time there, but…
UI2: We’re just concentrating where the real problems are.
JT: Yeah, but that actually flies in the face of the whole management district plan.
PZ: The other benefit, something that could be done [unintelligible] this whole area [unintelligible] for instance, [unintelligible] hot spots from three to four in the morning throughout the whole area we get [unintelligible] going out there, there are a lot of places that are making the calls at six in the morning, a person that’s sleeping they’re on private property all night. They’re never allowed to do that. It’s not OK to sleep on a private piece of property. You’re allowed to sleep on the sidewalk, but not on private property. So they could be [unintelligible] trespassers reports, they could file a trespass letter with you, they could get them out, they could be doing the same thing they’re doing at six, but doing it at three in the morning instead.
Bill Farrar: Captain’s right, and that allows us to concentrate on what our focus is, is quality of life, attending to those things. I might add, too, if I may, on these particular scenarios, the second scenario, where we’re adding the 528 hours, on that thing, where we’re just adding armed shifts. I truly think it’s the safer scenario. Mixing armed and unarmed theoretically it can work, but when we have unarmed officers out there, they’re not getting into scenarios like that, they’re not getting into situations like that. They’re backing away from situations. If they’re with an armed officer, now they’re going to be placed in that type of a situation, and it’s going to present some situations that we’d rather not face.
JT: Right, and we’d talked about a scenario where, let’s say, the Denny’s situation. He’s not going to cooperate. He’s out of his mind. And so you have the two officers show up and somebody’s got to try to control this guy. Well, the unarmed officers are just simply, they’re not full-certified guys, they’re not trained, they’re not ex-police officers. So you probably don’t want to have the least qualified guy go try to deal with this guy who’s, well, completely whacked out. But on the other hand, if the most qualified guy goes in, really, if he gets himself in any kind of trouble then really the backup is not really the [unintelligible]-certified guy. So it’s not an ideal situation.
MY: So are we [unintelligible] for this in order to make it [unintelligible] possibly fifty four thousand for [unintelligible]
SS: I saved ten thousand dollars by not backfilling so far in anticipation, so that would go towards this.
MY: So that’s one thing that we’re discussing is what would be ideal. We don’t want to do something [unintelligible]. That really doesn’t make sense in the long run [unintelligible]. The second one would be the timing for the Councilman to get back with us. Hopefully it’ll be soon, because I think, I personally think everyone would like that commitment, from the council office, to do this. Also, Captain, I know we had a discussion last security committee meeting that is also an opportunity for Andrews to be deputized, to issue citations. That could also help us move forward with our issues. So we also have that [unintelligible].
KM: So I’m just a little, I’m hearing that that fifty four would be the version three that would really require [unintelligible]
BF: I’m sorry, version three would be twenty seven thousand. That’s only twenty three hundred a week.
KM: For twelve weeks.
BF: The fifty four hundred or fifty five hundred, or fifty five thousand, would be doubling that to the optimum. So version three is about twenty seven thousand.
MY: And CD13 would be over and above that. [unintelligible]
Mark Stephenson: I would like to table this for further discussion because we’re going to run out of time today, and it just seems that we need more information. I think it would be helpful. I would also like to get a little bit more information from Streetscape about the cleaning and how that impacts security as well, and, I just, I have some more questions, that I don’t think that we can get solved…
MY: We have thirteen minutes, if you want to continue, because [unintelligible] very short…
Mark Stephenson: Well, sure, it’s also a little confusing because we don’t have one sheet to look at and go “here’s all the figures.” We just came up with another scenario, and it’s not that I don’t want to look at the scenario, I’m interested in it, it’s just that I want to make sure we’ve got these numbers and we’re all understanding and they’re all on the same page. What time are the sidewalks cleaned?
Matthew Severson: So it starts at, our crews usually come in close to midnight, and then it just varies. They usually stay out of the club area because our guys typically get harassed, so those are usually done earlier in the morning, or I should say later in the morning. Something like six, seven in the morning for those types of areas. But our guys can usually wash anywhere from midnight to eight in the morning [unintelligible].
Mark Stephenson: So the majority is done earlier in the evening instead of later?
Matthew Severson: Earlier, yeah, usually anywhere from like one to three is primarily when we’re washing the sidewalks with the exception of some of those areas like I said that are impacted by clubs.
Mark Stephenson: So I’m just, it’s a curiosity point of wondering could there be a delay on the cleaning where it’s actually the majority is happening at four in the morning, or five in the morning, going to eight. You know, it’s very interesting to me that I see the heightened, what was it about the arrests where it went from four and then it suddenly just jumped up to nineteen. Right? And so I don’t know what the, I don’t know what that cause is, it’s just again, it’s just, OK, a little bit more research. I think we need the assistance, absolutely, there is concern, so…
Chad Lewis: Is there a hybrid that we could do, cause I think Captain Zarcone’s here, that we can show kind of like a good faith, us moving forward to some [unintelligible] the police department, and maybe this, would then give us thirty days to try to get a permanent [unintelligible] from Mitch’s office. But take one of these steps, like possibly point three, which is only, you know, twenty four hundred, twenty four thirty five, for a four week period, where we start testing and get it going and then have a greater ask and then have a better idea of what kind of Mitch’s office is willing to do.
John Tronson: That would be my preference.
CL: I’d like to propose something like that.
Kerry Morrison: So you’re saying option three?
JT: Option three.
KM: [unintelligible] identified where that money comes from? Cause that’s…
CL: Well, I’m just saying, we can just man it for four weeks, till we get it going, but planning we’re going to do that at least at a minimum.
KM: The one thing I would suggest, though, is that they’ve got to go out and hire people. And so to hire people and train them for four weeks…
CL: Well, so I guess so the question to Bill then what would, are you willing to wait thirty days as we test this [unintelligible].
MY: Yeah, well, I think we want to mention something. This is a discussion at security committee last year, and we held off, you know, this last month, and then also it’s [unintelligible] from that meeting in December, so has been a request since last fall, so I want to move it forward instead of just delaying it.
Bill Farrar: If I could answer for us, we are certainly willing to start hiring extra people, put them on, because we could always use more, we could always [unintelligible] full time.
KM: All right. So then the twenty four thousand dollars though, extra, security comes from where?
JT: Twenty four hundred dollars a week.
KM: So for four weeks that’s…
UI3: It’s basically ten thousand dollars. It’s nine thousand seven hundred and forty.
JT: You move something around, there might be ten thousand dollars…
SS: Yeah, I’ve got about ten thousand dollars unspent so far. [unintelligible]
JT: So there’s some money there. Do we have any money in our security contingency?
Joe Mariani: It’s going to be tight, it’s going to be tight. We have the camera maintenance, and then we approved back in October of last year extending the feed of the cameras into the [unintelligible] office. So we have about fourteen, fifteen thousand.
MY: I would suggest, even though looking at this twenty four hundred dollars scenario, to give Andrews the leeway [unintelligible] that you would like to double up the shifts even though they will try to [unintelligible]…
JT: Well, I think that’s a great idea. [unintelligible] So I mean obviously when Mitch comes through, we’ll have a lot more… it’s a little bit like the festival budget, that we’re just trying to get this thing rolling and then approved so that we can increase our deployment subject to, you know, raising the funds, either through Steve’s continued effort to not backfill, you know, like you have in the past, or whether it’s Mitch with some supplemental monies or whether we want to take another five grand off of contingency. But as Monica was saying, we’re the [unintelligible], trying to accommodate Captain Zarcone’s request which was now made, I don’t know, two to three months ago. And it was an urgent request at that point in time. So that’s why I, you know, normally I would like to try to take as much time as possible with this, but I, I know, we looked at everything. I don’t know what other new information I’m going to come up with.
Unidentified Interlocutor 4: I think we need to do something. I’m a little confused [unintelligible] which plan, [unintelligible] the bottom line. [unintelligible] We conduct the experiment for twelve weeks, the pilot program, whatever it is. To the extent we learn whatever we learn, the thinking is we then would continue? Or it’s just, I gained that information, we would redeploy with the existing money? I’m just throwing that out there, but I think we need to do something, and I’m totally confused by what Mitch, Mitch’s office is thinking of doing. It’s contingent on us doing something? It’s…
JT: No, Mitch’s office is contemplating funding the nighttime security effort that was requested.
UI5: Or just the pilot program?
JT: Well, just the pilot program. Although it would be an…he was talking about going through the summertime. So that’s why he was, we were talking about twelve thousand dollars per week, is that right, Joe?
Joe Mariani: Seven thousand.
JT: Seven thousand a week. We were talking about twelve weeks, which was eighty four thousand dollars. Ideally we would do twenty four weeks, and Mitch said “I think if we’re going to do this, we need to do it in earnest,” which was, like, through a six month period of time. What is, how much money does he have in his discretionary account?
Bill Farrar: I don’t know what he has in his account, but he immediately jumped at doubling the program, and let’s get on this, and…
JT: He thought it was a very important thing to do.
UI4: And doubling the program is, let’s say, twelve weeks…
JT: To twenty four weeks.
UI4: Rgiht. Starting with us. And then we, and we continue, or…
JT: No. He would just take over. He would just…as soon as that money came in, we would go back to doing what we do during the day a hundred percent and he just pays for this.
UI4: So we could OK twelve weeks right now and if he stepped in at the seventh week we would have only done six…
JT: We could OK four weeks right now, just to get things going…
UI4: Well, my suggestion, [unintelligible] had a very very good idea, but to the extent that the original plan was going to be twelve weeks, I think we ought to fund at least half of it. We ought to do six weeks.
JT: Now the question is, where does the money come from? So, again, we’ve got ten thousand. What’s great about, what’s great about four weeks is we have ten thousand dollars and this is only going to cost five or six.
Steve Seyler: [unintelligible] I spent two thousand of that today for training.
UI6: Six weeks just became five.
JT: And so when you, we do have some flexibility, but I would like to get this started, and then it’ll also put some pressure on Mitch, I think, to act on it.
UI7: Especially if we’re able to demonstrate that it makes a real, measurable difference.
JT: Mitch is getting… every councilman, he said, is under a tremendous amount of pressure to do something about the increase in crime. And the biggest increase in aggravated assaults, robberies, and, I think, part one crime is what you guys call it, is in the evening, so they really, you know, this is something that, he’s not taking some discretionary funds and partying on Hollywood Boulevard. This is something benefits everybody in his…
UI7: I think we should move quick on it.
Bill Farrar: John, if I may. There’s been a lot of discussion on the BID renewal of extending the security to twenty four hours per day, which was going to cost an immense amount more money. This should, between our statistics and the statistics that Captain Zarcone would provide, at, certainly a six month program if Mitch funds this, should give you a good basis to decide whether or not you really want to pursue that.
JT: That’s one of the reasons why Mitch is excited about it is, you know, because essentially he spends the money now but then the property owners would assess themselves enough money in two years to cover that for the next theoretically ten years, so it’s a little bit of seed money by LAPD that gets the BID to cover the cost of this.
UI8: Would it be reasonable to look at doing a four, you know, go along with a four week, to get, grease the wheels, so to speak, with Mitch and everything else, and be able to revisit it if Mitch doesn’t get on board with it in those four weeks at the next meeting? I don’t know if timewise that works out.
JT: Oh, absolutely. We have a board meeting a month, right?
MY: Yeah. Well, I guess there’s two things. One is if we do a four week program, is that enough time to get data?
JT: No, I don’t think so.
MY: The second one is does that help? I mean, I know it’s a little bit, but I dont’ know if [unintelligible]
JT: The only reason we would do four weeks is because we’re [unintelligible] we extend this thing to six months, or twelve weeks at least…
UI7: How long would it take to get up to speed, I mean, [unintelligible] is not going to happen tomorrow, so…
SS: [unintelligible] I need a little more data, how many people [unintelligible]
UI7: Would you hypothetically say two weeks? A month? Six weeks? Best guess.
SS: A month.
UI7: A month? OK. So, if we were to approve it, we’d still be talking to Mitch. The four weeks won’t start for approximately a month, I assume. And in that time we’ll be meeting again and we can always look to modify that and go longer if we have to. But hopefully we put some pressure on Mitch to jump in and we get going.
UI9: Is there ramp-up and training time within that, when you hire people, before they’re fully functional, is it a week, or a day, is it…
SS: It’s not easy to find people right now. Qualified people. And that’s kind of our [unintelligible]. We don’t just hire anybody, so I want to find some quality people. We’ll mix them in, we’ll have a mixture of experienced guys out there. And we’ll train, we’ll probably train the new people in the [unintelligible]. We’re not going to hire people and put them straight out into the, you know, that environment, so we’ll put them more in our comfort zone and we’ll put veteran guys out there and we’ll mix these guys in. It’s going to be ongoing training just as we do now.
UI9: That’s my point. Is four weeks enough to actually extract, get fully up to speed, you know, four weeks may be two weeks, right? By the time you hire, and train, get people paired up.
SS: I’m trying to be optimistic because I can see that people want to get started on it.
Kerry Morrison: There’s no need to [unintelligible]. We don’t want to compromise the safety of the guys.
SS: Yeah, I really can’t say for sure, but that’s minimal.
UI9: The point is really maybe four weeks should be six weeks, because by the time you ramp up, and get moving, you may already be…
SS: I’ll take a year at the beginning…[unintelligible]
Bill Farrar: Quite honestly, with the Academy Awards coming up and stuff like this, it’s increasingly more difficult for the officers to move around, so that gives us a few weeks to ramp up anyway. The guys that we hire, and the reason it’s difficult to find guys we can hire, we want the right personalities out there, and the right experience. As Steve says, they’ll be interspersed with experienced BID officers so they know what we’re looking for and they know what their mission is and stuff like this, so that’s really [unintelligible]
Mark Stephenson: And doing this scenario, it’s not reallocating morning to night, it’s just hiring..
MS: Is the primary concern of reallocating, is it stakeholder perception, or is it safety? For that morning time.
JT: For the morning time? What happened last time we took away the morning shift was when everybody started to come to Hollywood in the morning, there were still a lot of homeless sleeping, and it just was perceived as being less safe, it was more difficult for people to get in and out of establishments, and then the other thing, that, it’s legal to sleep on the sidewalks until 6 a.m., is that right? And so we come and remind them that it’s no longer legal for you to be sleeping on the sidewalks and if we don’t do that, where they are turns into a compound or an expanded camp, it’s just somebody has to come and move them along at some point in time, so what happens is, people are used to use reminding them at six o’clock in the morning that they now need to move on, so everybody sort of gets into a routine that way, as opposed to maybe not being asked to move on until 8 or 10 or maybe not at all if you’re on one of these side or back streets and nobody makes a call. So, I owned a building on Vista Del Mar, which is this tiny little street over there that most people have never driven on, and if there was no call for an officer that day, they wouldn’t know that there’s, somebody’s got a huge compound set up right there on the sidewalk, so it’s not like we’re just on Hollywood Boulevard, there’s a lot of these other little side streets that need to be covered, and the early morning is the time when we can sort of efficiently fo around and make sure that everybody’s up and we’re ready for people to operate their businesses and when that, what seems like it’s a simple thing to do, was removed, we just had a lot of problems that were exacerbated. People started, you know, staying longer, larger groups of people, and then, you know, what was really bad was when people would come to Hollywood at 8 in the morning and then there’s just a big…it looks like Skid Row.
MY: OK, I think we all [unintelligible] OK, so we had a lot of discussion. Is there a motion for anything at the table? What I’m concerned about is if we carry this longer, [unintelligible]
UI9: I would make a motion, maybe I’m cutting it a little short, to do four weeks, that we set it in motion…
Kerry Morrison: Which option?
UI9: Oh, I’m sorry, option number, option number, they’re not numbered, three, three, the armed, armed group.
UI10: The twenty four thirty five https://youtu.be/1Nnb_p27PIw
JT: Right, additional.
Bill Farrar: five hundred and twenty eight hours is the total on it.
JT: And I think that would get us going, you know, and Monica, I agree, I’d like to just approve something longer and more meaningful, but until we identify the sources of the funds and see how Mitch is coming in, then I think it’s easiest just to get this thing going.
MY: What I’m more concerned about is whatever the four week program is or the [unintelligible] program, is that we give some flexibility to Andrews, because they’re mentioning that with current staffing at [unintelligible] even though at twenty four thirty five it’s somewhere between twenty four thirty five and forty five hundred.
JT: And, you know, we, in our management district plan we don’t have a deployment lined out, you’re flexible to change your deployment. So we don’t have to nail down the exact deployment here. It’s not like we’re amending the contract like we are with this Streetscape deal. In our contract with Andrews, the security committee and staff, we can modify that without having to go through some sort of a board motion, in terms of deployment, so I don’t know why, since we don’t do it in the contract, I don’t know why we have to specifically say how we’re going to do it at night, so I think we can say that we’re going to approve this initially and give them the flexibility to modify accordingly if they need to and also if we find the outside funds to be able to do that.
Kerry Morrison: So, this is just to understand, if it’s out of the twenty four hundred a week, it’s done with the existing savings and Andrews. If it goes to forty five hundred a week we have to tap into another source of funds…
KM: So I just have to…
UI11: Why don’t we cap it at twenty four hundred a week for now and maybe use the existing funds to cover that and then maybe authorize an additional four weeks at that level going forward, so we have sort of an eight week program in the bag and if it means slightly redeploying some of the daytime people, not all of them, but maybe just shifting enough so that we have enough people to cover the hot spots for a pilot program to see if it works. I think if we don’t have enough people or do it for a long enough time we’re not going to have meaningful data to know whether or not it’s working and we should continue.
JT: I agree. I think it’s our intention to do this long term, as I mentioned. But, so for the sake of just keeping in conformance with the budget I think we should just approve it for four weeks, get it going, bang on Mitch to give us an answer, and then, you know, we can revisit this and extend it at our next board meeting if we want. That’s the intention. But the problem is if we do any longer than that, and if we double that, you know, to forty five hundred a week, we haven’t identified the funds to do that, so I
UI12: So is there any chance of a [unintelligible]?
JT: Yeah, and hopefully he does and then we can make that change at that time.
UI13: So, so moved.
JT: Yeah, so I personally…
UI14: Have you been in conversations with Mitch about this?
UI14: OK, is there any, do you think, for your own opinion, that if we do this for four weeks, and you let him know that we’re only doing it for four weeks, because that’s all we have funds to do right now, and we could get him to get on board, what’s going to make him move [unintelligible].
JT: I think that will make him move better. I think he’ll see that the force is out there. I think we’ll probably have some good evidence. He’s going to see we’re serious about it, I think he’s going to expedite the process.
Joe Mariani: So the current motion is four weeks, approximately ten grand, which we would take from existing savings.
UI15: And revisit it at next month’s meeting.
JT: I’ll second it..
MY: Joe, your motion, John seconds…
UI: Propose armed, scheduled deployment for four weeks, what else?
JT: That’s it.
MY: OK, all in favor, opposed, abstain [motion passes].
Image of Peter Zarcone is ©2016 MichaelKohlhaas.org.