Yesterday, after numerous failed attempts on her part,2 Suzanne Holley of Carol Schatzie’s baby-doll of a Downtown Center BID, sent me a bunch of emails between her staff and the LAPD. You can get all of these at Archive.Org in various useful formats.3 Amongst these was yet another copy of Eugene Shin’s email to all BIDs directing them to get their security patrols registered with the Police Commission.
You may recall that late last year, on the basis of my complaint to the Police Commission, the City of LA resumed enforcement of LAMC 52.34 against BID security forces.1 Since then it’s been possible to track the progress of this massive project via various CPRA requests. So in November 2016 the Police Commission informed all BIDs of the registration requirement and, at the same time, told them that their BID patrollies would be subject to arrest if they didn’t submit. In December 2017 the Police Commission told the BIDs to quit whining about it because the law is the law.
In January 2017 I obtained a December 1, 2016 email from Police Commission investigator Eugene Shin confirming that the registration process was ongoing. In that email Officer Shin hinted that he’d received a bunch of complaints about the new registration policy from BIDs. This, in turn, suggests that he or someone had sent an earlier communication about registration. I do not yet have copies of any of the complaints, bitching, and moaning, although I’m certainly working on getting them. However, just yesterday, as part of a significant email release from the FCBID1 I received this November 29, 2016 email from Eugene Shin to all the BIDs, announcing that their security guards would have to register. This seems to be what caused the firestorm of unhappiness hinted at in the December 1 email.
There is a full transcription of this fascinating document after the break, and it’s well worth reading. But the most interesting bit of all is this threat, with which Eugene Shin ends his missive:
Failure to register and obtain the permits may result in criminal charges being filed against the security company and citations or arrests of their security officers.
I reported a couple months ago that as a direct result of my June 2016 petition to the Police Commission, BID Security would be required to abide by LAMC 52.34 and register with the City like all other private security patrol operators must do. At that time I had only the oral assurance1 of Police Commission enforcement officer Ernesto Vicencio that this was the case.
Earlier this afternoon I spoke with Ernesto Vicencio, who is an LAPD investigator assigned to the Police Commission. He told me that the City Attorney either has sent or will soon send a letter to all Los Angeles Business Improvement Districts informing them that their security patrols are required to register with the Los Angeles Police Commission per LAMC 52.34.
This incredibly welcome development is a direct result of my discovery in the Summer of 2016 that it was likely that BID security registration had inadvertently ceased in 2000 due to an oversight. I don’t believe I mentioned it at the time, but in addition to writing a number of posts on the subject, I also sent a petition to the Police Commission asking them to look into the matter and to conclude that BID security ought in fact to register with them.
According to Officer Vicencio the City Attorney has decided to implement this request.1 This development is hugely important, not least because LAMC 52.34 requires private patrol services to have a procedure for investigating citizen complaints. It also grants the Police Commission a great deal of regulatory power over the activities of security patrols who are required to register.
Which brings us to the second stunning and absolutely unexpected thing that Officer Vicencio told me. You may recall that I recently reported on what seemed like a clear use of excessive force by members of the Andrews International Hollywood BID Patrol. Well, about three weeks ago I submitted a report on this matter to Kerry Morrison of the HPOA and also to the Police Commission, as instructed by the Commission’s executive director, Richard Tefank.
I have some new information about, although not an answer to, the question, which I wrote about last week, of why BID security patrols aren’t registered with the Los Angeles Police Commission even though LAMC 52.34 would seem to require registration. If this is the first time you’re hearing about this, you should read that post first for background.
First of all, I exchanged a number of emails with William Jones, a senior management analyst with the LAPD permit processing section. He directed me to Officer Vicencio in the Police Commission’s Enforcement section. Vicencio was on vacation last week, but I finally got a chance to speak to him on the phone. He told me that BID Patrols were exempt from the LAMC 52.34 requirement because state law exempted them. He did not know what section of state law exempted them. He also told me that “about fifteen years ago” the City Attorney issued an opinion stating that BID Patrols were not subject to the registration requirement. He said that any private security firm that was under contract to the City or had an MOU with the City was not required to register. Continue reading Update on the Question of Why BID Security Patrols Aren’t Registered with the Los Angeles Police Commission→
One of the most important consequences of the Andrews International Hollywood BID Patrol’s failure to register with the Los Angeles Police Commission, as they’re almost surely required to do, is that they evade enforcement of LAMC 52.34(d)(1), which regulates uniforms and badges. It states:
Any badge, insignia, patch or uniform used or worn by any employee, officer, member or associate of a private patrol service, while on duty for said patrol service, shall be in compliance with State law. Any such badge, insignia, patch or uniform shall not be of such a design as to be mistaken for an official badge, insignia or uniform worn by a law enforcement officer of the City of Los Angeles or any other law enforcement agency with jurisdiction in the City.
In this post I’m collecting and discussing a number of images of BID Patrol officers looking especially like police (all these images and many more can be found on this new Archive collection). The only differences between BID Patrol uniforms and LAPD uniforms seem to be that the LAPD doesn’t always wear shoulder patches and the LAPD does wear nameplates. However, the LAPD is not the only Los Angeles agency that employs law enforcement officers. There are also the School Police and the Airport Police1 and both of those agencies have uniforms with shoulder patches, and to which BID Patrol uniforms are also essentially identical. It’s true that the uniforms of BID Patrol officers say “BID PATROL” in big letters across the back, but many police uniforms say stuff across the back. For this message to have the requisite effect, it’s necessary to already know that BID Patrol officers aren’t a kind of police. Also, the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance is famous for worrying about tourists who don’t know that they don’t have to tip street characters. Where’s the analogous worry about tourists who don’t know that the BID Patrol aren’t police officers? Turn the page for many more examples. Continue reading Lots of Pictures of BID Patrol Officers Illegally Dressing Like Police Officers→
A collaborative denunciation of Business Improvement Districts in Los Angeles